Please read the questions and answers below to learn about the ESL program. For any further information, please contact the Office of the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, at 497-4000, ext. 27021, or use the email contact form.
1) What is ESL?
2) What is the purpose of ESL?
3) What determines a student’s need for ESL services?
4) What are the qualifications of an ESL teacher?
1) Q What is ESL?
ESL stands for English as a Second Language. ESL is a service provided to students in K-12 whose first language is not English and who are not able to meet the standards because of their lack of English and its applications. Instructional services in English language arts, and its basis in mathematics, social studies, and science are provided in addition to the instruction provided in the regular classroom. The services of the ESL program are aligned with the New York State Standards and are congruent with those of the regular classroom. In addition, student support services are also provided as needed in order to address barriers to improved academic success.
2) Q What is the purpose of ESL?
ESL is a program that provides English Language Arts services, as well as reinforcement of curriculum content, to students that are at risk of not achieving the State Standards in ELA, mathematics, social studies, and/or science, because of their lack of English language skills. ESL allows the students to work in a regular classroom setting, while also having the opportunity for reinforcement in the ESL classroom. The program provides these students with a supplemental instructional program that offers additional student support in order to bridge the gap in achieving the State Standards.
3) Q What determines a student's need for ESL services?
Students entering the District for the first time are required to complete a home language questionnaire, which indicates which language(s) are spoken at home. If the information on this questionnaire indicates that the student speaks any other language at home other than English, the student is then tested using the Language Assessment Battery-Revised (LAB-R). The results of the LAB-R indicate whether or not the student needs ESL services, and if so, how much service time is required as outlined by New York State.
All ESL students are required to take the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) in the spring of each school year. The results of the NYSESLAT determine if a student continues to need services, or if a student’s service time needs to be adjusted.
4) Q What are the qualifications of an ESL teacher?
All teachers working with ESL students are New York State certified in English as a Second Language. The teachers working in this field are trained in modifying materials, as well as curriculum content in order to appropriately meet the needs of ESL students. ESL certified teachers are trained in administering the LAB-R and the NYSESLAT, which are given to all ESL students. In addition, these teachers are trained in working with students from various cultures and backgrounds.
These teachers work closely with classroom teachers in order to assist students with class related materials and projects and to keep the communication between the students, teachers, and themselves open and effective.