English as a Second Language (ESL) is an instructional program to help English Learners (ELs) do just that—learn English. It comprises a variety of instructional strategies and techniques to develop proficiency in Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing and Comprehension. Seven ESL teachers and five ESL tutors serve our district, providing instruction in the basics, for those who speak little or no English, as well as more advanced lessons for those who speak more English. Over 20 classroom teachers are also trained in the SIOP method of sheltered content instruction to better support beginning and intermediate level ELLs in grades 1 through 8.
English Language Learners
Our population of English Learners (formerly called Limited English Proficient students or LEPs) continues to grow. In 2004, the number of students served by our program was 62. In 2012, we began the school year with 325 ELs. This year we are serving approximately 610. They attend all six of our schools from preschool through the 12th grade.
They come from many different countries, including Benin, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Congo, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Mexico, Micronesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Vietnam. Many of them were actually born in the United States but live in homes where languages other than English are spoken. About 55% of them speak Spanish, while the remainder speak some 25 different languages, including Nepali, Twi, Pohnpeian, and varieties of creole English. Some of them speak English with a high degree of proficiency; others are just learning the basics.
Research shows that it takes second language learners two to three years to learn basic interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and five to seven years to achieve cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP) if they have had two to three years of first language schooling in their native country (Jim Cummins, 1981). If the student has not had schooling in his/her first language, CALP will take seven to ten years or more (Virginia Collier, 1995).
Our mission is to provide English Learners with high-quality instruction in the English language (ESL), sheltered instruction in the mainstream classroom, and appropriate modifications and accommodations in all classes, so that they may develop the second language skills necessary to successfully achieve academically and socially in the United States.
The district employs six ESL teachers, one for each school. One of the teachers, Mr. Giblin, also serves as the district's ESL Coordinator.
Xenia Ramos (WWPN)
Rita Kinley (WWPS)
Heather Mack (WWES)
Agnes Boateng (WWIS)
Tamika White (WWHS)
To view forms for this department, please see the Teacher/Administrator Resource page.