English Language Learners (ELL)
Our school district has students from around the world who do not speak English as their first language. Our students come from more than 25 countries and speak more than 20 different languages. Many English Language Learners (ELL) are highly literate in their first language and have extensive content-area knowledge, whereas others may be experiencing school for the first time.
The challenge of learning English for school is complicated by many factors and will vary for each student. All students need a strong command of the English language in order to succeed in school. Research on language learning proves it takes at least 5 to 7 years for second language learners to acquire academic fluency at the same level of their English-speaking peers. Our English Language Learner Program (ELLP) intensely supports the complex development of English language competence needed for academic success.
The ELLP serves students in grades K to 12 who indicate a language other than English on the home-language questionnaire. Our program supports students in achieving English language proficiency and we provide academic assistance for mainstream classes. Students receive primary instruction in the mainstream classroom and receive intensive language instruction by ELL teachers. The amount of time per day that students receive ELL instruction and the duration of service is dependent on level of language proficiency.
What is the role of ELL teachers?
Our ELL teachers received special training to meet the social, cultural and academic needs of English language learners. They are certified to provide specialized instruction based on research in language acquisition. Teachers will provide support in the following ways:
- Building communication between parents, the school and the community
- Guiding mainstream teachers in providing appropriate instruction for language learners
- Supporting mainstream teachers in developing curriculum
- Providing multi-level language lessons for English language learners
- Assessing students in language proficiency
- Monitoring student progress and adjust program placement
- To achieve social and academic fluency and literacy in the English language
- To increase student achievement in academic content areas
- To improve communications between parents and schools
- To encourage in students a positive attitude towards their own culture
- To strengthen the celebration of diversity within our schools