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English as a Second Language (ESL)

What is the purpose of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program?

ESL programs are designed to make grade level academic content accessible to English learners. ESL programs target English language development, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, through academic content instruction that is linguistically and culturally responsive. This means that the ESL program uses the academic, linguistic, and cultural background of English learners as a platform for acquiring grade level content material in English.

What are the state-approved ESL program models?
In Texas, there are two state-approved ESL program models: Content-Based ESL and Pull-Out ESL.

Cleveland ISD offers the Pull-Out ESL program model. The goal of this program is that English learners will attain full proficiency in English in order to participate equitably in school. A pull-out model can be implemented within the English learner’s classroom, or the English learner may be provided his or her English language arts and reading instruction by an ESL certified teacher in another classroom setting.

What are the benefits of an ESL program?
Academic instruction is provided by teachers who
•are trained in effective second language acquisition methods;
•understand the specific language needs of English learners and how to address them;
•recognize the benefits of an English learner’s academic, cultural, and linguistic background; and
•can adapt instruction, pacing, and materials to target an English learner’s language proficiency level.

Linguistic accommodations on state assessments can be provided as needed. Meaningful participation in subjects such as art, music, and physical education will be provided alongside grade level peers.

What instruction will my child receive in an ESL program?
Your child will develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in English through the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) in conjunction with their grade level academic instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) of all content areas including English language arts and reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.

How can parents support their child who participates in an ESL program?
Parents can support their child’s acquisition of English through opportunities to practice English as well as opportunities to increase their child’s skills in their primary language. Research shows the benefits of primary language development on second language development and the positive transfer of skills from one language to another.

Some examples of parent activities to support English acquisition include
•reading to your child in English and/or your primary language;
•engaging in conversations that promote a wide-range of vocabulary in either language; and
•oral storytelling in your primary language and/or English.

Ways to support the ESL program include
•participating as a member of the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC);
•volunteering to engage in classroom activities; and
•serving on school and district site-based decision-making or other advisory committees.

Can a child who is also receiving other services participate in an ESL program?
Yes, students who receive services in other programs, such as special education, 504, response to intervention, and gifted/talented or advanced academics, may also participate in the ESL program. The LPAC, in conjunction with other student services committees, meets to discuss and coordinate services based on the educational need of your child.

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