Why do we need an ESOL Program?
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 indicates that we must provide equal educational opportunities for all students.
- Supreme court rulings which address non English-speaking students such as: Lau v Nichol 1974 - school districts must take affirmative actions to overcome educational barriers of non-English speaking students or Plyler v Doe 1982 - undocumented children have the right to attend public school.
- The mission statement of Cecil County Public Schools instructs us to meet the needs of all students.
What kind of program does CCPS offer?
- County-based Pre-K to Grade 12
- Pull-out tutorial
- Classroom assistance
What is the process for enrolling students into the ESOL Program?
- At registration, all parents complete a Home Language Survey.
- Surveys of parents who indicate that their child does not speak English are forwarded to the Office of World Languages and ESOL and the ESOL Teacher assigned to the building.
- The Instructional Coordinator for World Languages and ESOL contacts the ESOL teacher for the school. The ESOL teacher for the school will contact the parents, arrange a conference, and administer a standardized language assessment test to determine English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- The ESOL teacher informs the parents and the child's teachers of the test results.
- If the child qualifies for ESOL services, the parent is asked to sign a permission form, so that the student may be formally admitted into the ESOL Program and receive appropriate services.
To what services are English Learners (ELs) entitled?
ELs are entitled to all services to which other students are entitled to under the law. In addition, they are entitled to receive services to meet their language learning needs:
- Direct instruction of English - listening, speaking, reading, and writing
- Modified scheduling and grading procedures
- Appropriate assistance to prepare for consistency-based tests required for graduation
- Counseling services
- Opportunity to participate in specialized programs, such as those offered at the Cecil County School of Technology
- Opportunity to participate in the fine arts and challenge programs
When does an ESOL Teacher come to my school?
Visits are determined by the proficiency level of the students:
- Beginner - 3 to 4 times per week
- Intermediate - 2 to 3 times per week
- Advanced - 1 time per week
- High school student in ESOL course - 5 times per week
How long does it take to learn English?
- Basic Interpersonal Skills (BICS) - 1-3 years
- Cognitive Academic Language (CALPS) - 5 to 7 years
I am a classroom teacher. How can I help the English Language Learner in my classroom?
- Contact the ESOL teacher who is assigned to your building or working with your English Learner (EL).
- Read and refer to your HELP Handbook (available from the ESOL teacher).
- You may want to request a mutually agreeable time to meet and collaborate with the ESOL teacher.
- Many teachers immediately assign a "buddy" to the EL to help him or her get to know the classroom and school routines.
- Use plenty of visuals, such as drawings and gestures, to help communicate meaning and make English comprehensible to your EL.
- Remember that the EL is immersed in a completely new language environment, and might not attend to all of the activities in the classroom in the beginning. But as routines become familiar, you and your EL will find meaningful activities that work for both of you.
What is my role as the classroom teacher?
- Welcome the students in a positive manner.
- Encourage peer assistance.
- Respect culture and customs.
- Assist with articulation.
- Use appropriate strategies and materials.
- Focus on oral language.
- Provide for individual differences.
- Collaborate with the ESOL teacher.
- Develop and comply with classroom accommodations.
- Teach language, literacy, and content together.
- Utilize alternative assessments and grading procedures.
- Communicate with parents.
What other services are provided for English Learners (ELs), their teachers, and their families?
- Conferences with parents and teachers with the aid of an interpreter
- Home visits upon request or in time of need
- Bilingual/ESOL Resource Library at the ESOL Office
- Workshops providing strategies and models for English instruction
- Consultations with school personnel regarding cultural diversity
What resources are available?
- Services of an ESOL teacher
- ESOL materials from the ESOL Collection
- Supplementary ESOL guidebooks to county literature series
- HELP (Helping English Learners Progress) Handbook - Handbook for Classroom Teachers
- ESOL Guidelines - Reaching Out - ESOL Handbook for Administrators