• K-5 English as a New Language (formerly ESL)


    The general goals of the elementary grade level English as a New Language (ENL) program are:

    • to meet the specific English language needs of our international students so that they may communicate effectively in all areas – listening, speaking, reading, and writing;

    • to teach the English sound system;

    • to teach and expand each child’s basic and academic vocabulary;

    • to provide comprehensive instruction in basic skills and concepts;

    • to teach and reinforce cross-cultural understanding;

    • to appreciate the value and beauty of different languages and cultures;

    • to reinforce a positive student self-image.


    ENL teachers and support staff work to ensure that English language learners transition smoothly between the program and regular classroom work. Emphasis is placed on learning the four language acquisition skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. ENL teachers use a variety of strategies and materials to teach these skills.


    The ENL staff is alerted to each new international student who enrolls in school; they administer an informal interview then, if warranted, a diagnostic/placement language assessment test (the NYSITELL). Upon evaluation of the tests and overall responses, students with limited English proficiency are scheduled for ENL support.  The number of instructional periods per week varies depending on the individual child’s proficiency level and grade level. Every May, students sit for the NYSESLAT, a New York State test that measures year-to-year English progress. Report cards are distributed three times a year. Parent conferences are held in the fall (K-5) and spring (K-2).


    There are five English Proficiency levels according to New York State:

    Entering (formerly called Beginner)

    Emerging (formerly Low-Intermediate)

    Transitioning (formerly Intermediate)

    Expanding   (formerly Advanced)

    Commanding  (formerly Proficient)