English Learner (EL) Services
District 68 is a super diverse community that supports and educates students from over 60 language backgrounds. Over the past two years, a representative team examined our previous program model, reviewed the research, looked at our own internal data, and visited other programs serving English language (EL) learners. Our primary goals are to accelerate students’ English language growth and to increase students’ access to the core content subject areas of math, science, and social studies. Our new EL Program design increases the amount of comprehensible instruction English learners receive in all subject areas by making better use of our existing staff and their advanced coursework in ESL instruction.
Researchers have found that English learners (ELs) who received focused second language instruction made more than five times the gains of ELs who did not. Instruction in English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) and the content areas targeted to meet ELs’ unique linguistic, academic, and cultural needs can be provided by teachers with advanced training and corresponding credentials. Our new EL program design aligns with federal and state legal parameters, research findings, and district values. Our new EL program design assists in advancing the goals of the district’s strategic plan, equity initiative, and MTSS committee work.
ELs will receive more daily ESL instruction, resulting in accelerated growth in English. ELs will receive more comprehensible instruction in all content areas, minimizing language barriers to the core curriculum and resulting in higher academic achievement. ELs will not miss essential instruction. The stigma of pullout instruction for a majority of ELs will be reduced. Teachers with state required credentials will provide appropriate instruction to ELs, leading to improved reclassification (exit from EL Services) rates and sustained academic and linguistic achievement after students exit EL Services.
K – 5 GRADE LEVEL INSTRUCTION
ESL Section: General education teachers with an ESL/bilingual endorsement teach ESL, content-based ESL, and sheltered grade level math, science, and social studies. Students are at the entering, beginning, and developing levels of English proficiency.
General Education Plus Section: General education teachers with an ESL/bilingual endorsement, teach ESL and sheltered grade level math, science, and social studies. ELs at the expanding levels of English proficiency are combined with students who are not English learners.
General Education Section: General education teachers without an ESL/bilingual endorsement teach English language arts and grade level math, science, and social studies.
Resource ESL: General education teachers with an ESL/bilingual endorsement teach ESL, content-based ESL, and sheltered grade level math, science, and social studies across two or three adjacent grade levels. This instruction will be used when numbers of ELs are very low or when there are insufficient numbers of general education teachers with an ESL/bilingual endorsement.
6 - 8 GRADE LEVEL INSTRUCTION
ESL Instruction: Old Orchard Junior High offers three courses to meet the needs of ELs at three different levels of English proficiency: ESL I, ESL II, and ESL III. English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) instruction is the equivalent of English language arts instruction
STEM Math, STEM Science, and Humanities: Old Orchard Junior High provides content-based ESL instruction to students at the entering and early beginning levels of English proficiency.
Sheltered Content Areas: Old Orchard Junior High offers sheltered content area instruction in math, science, and social studies to ELs who are at the beginning and developing levels of English proficiency.
General Education Content Areas: ELs at an advanced developing and expanding level of English proficiency receive content area instruction in general education classes with appropriate multiple supports to meet their linguistic and academic needs.
Barbara Marler, Ed. D.
Director of EL Services
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