The English Language Learners (ELL) program in the elementary school is a pullout program for English language learners in grades one through five.
The students are placed in ability and grade level groupings (beginners, intermediate and high intermediate) and meet for 45-minute sessions five times a week. At registration, the English language learner is given an English placement test administered by an ELL professional. The student’s level of English proficiency is determined by the test and through a personal interview.
Students at the beginning level of English language development learn the basic language skills needed for social interaction with friends and within the classroom (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills). These functions are introduced through theme-based units, i.e. school, colors, numbers, shapes, the home and family, the calendar and seasons, feelings, professions, food, etc.
Instructional methods are multisensory and varied to appeal to all learning styles. Reading and writing skills are introduced after the student has acquired a basic knowledge of oral language. Intermediate to high intermediate level lessons are concerned with vocabulary enhancement, grammar and writing skills, reading fluency and comprehension, and critical thinking.
ELL teachers coordinate themes with grade level subjects whenever possible. Emphasis is placed on building and improving the students’ academic language, the language necessary for understanding texts and academic discussions. (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency Skills).
Assessments are ongoing and authentic. Assessments include standardized tests, reflective journals, portfolios, end of unit quizzes, novel quizzes, comprehension questions, culminating projects, peer and teacher evaluations, teacher observations and performances in front of audiences.
Skills are taught through author and novel studies, literary analysis, writing techniques, projects and grammar.
Click HERE for a link to the JAIS curriculum.