An Overview of Our ESL Program
The general goals of our ESL 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.
II. THE INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM
• Each new entrant receives medical and school forms from the school secretary that are to be completed by parents and then returned to the school.
• The ESL staff is alerted to new international students. Students are assessed with a diagnostic/placement language test within the first week of school. Those children who qualify for ESL support are placed in an appropriate instructional group or level.
Level 1 – Beginner: for students who have virtually no proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing English;
Level 2 – Intermediate: for students with basic vocabulary, some communication competency but not enough to sustain self in class work;
Level 3 – Advanced: for students who speak and understand the language well but need support in content area in reading and writing.
Instructional time varies depending upon the child’s grade level and English language proficiency.
“It should be noted that all parts of the ESL instructional program, specifically listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are interwoven within the teaching of holidays, history, culture, social behavior, home and school environments, communications, etc. In this way, vocabulary, syntax, grammatical structures, and phonics skills are not taught in isolation, but within the context of functional communicative activities. The choice of the activity is determined by the ESL instructor in conjunction with the age, needs, and levels of her students.” (English As A second Language Scope and Sequence K-5, Scarsdale Public Schools, l987.)
III. EXITING THE ESL PROGRAM
Students must score proficient on all four sections--listening, speaking, reading, and writing--of the NY State ESL Achievement Test that is administered in May each year.