ESL (English as a Second Language)

ESL, ELL (English Language Learners), or EDL (English as a Developing Language), programs are a key component of international instruction.  Students come to us with varying levels of proficiency in English and we work with them in several ways to create full fluency.  We have a multilevel program to address the needs of each student.  The goal of all good English Support programs is to decrease the need for support, so at each level student progress is frequently reviewed and student services increased or decreased based upon expressed needs.

At the highest level of need we have an English Intensive Program.  This program immerses students twice a day in English courses for a total of 160 minutes a day.  Students receive small group instruction from a trained professional in language acquisition skills, basic communication and conventions.  Students in this level of service are pulled from history, English and foreign language classes to receive as much English instruction as possible.  Students at this level are graded on a pass-fail basis in their regular classes, to allow them to focus on English Language Learning.  

The next level of English support services is our leveled English program.  Students at this level attend regular classes with support, and maintain a separate, smaller English class.  The emphasis of this level of English class is the ability not just to speak English but to use English for learning.  Students take part in challenges that increase their ability to reason in English, and express their ideas.  Students may still be graded on a pass-fail system at this level, depending on their comfort and ability level.  Student assignments within the regular classroom are subject to language ability modifications. 

Our final level of English support services include the monitoring phase.  Students are placed in the regular English classroom with weekly observation sessions.  Student progress is monitored and students receive help with homework during homeroom times twice a week.  Students receive regular grades at this level, however, progress is monitored closely and assignments are still modified if necessary. 

Students spend a varying amount of time at each level of support.  There is no right or wrong time for a student to need these services.  Student progress is formally reviewed at the end of each quarter and a status is taken.  When students are ready they progress through the levels.  The minimum time a student identified remains within the program is one year.  Students may simply be on monitor status for that year, but their progress is closely monitored and support is given to ease the transition.  A child study meeting is called at the end of the year to determine and evaluate progress and further services.