Children, whose primary language is other than English, have an opportunity to improve their English language skills attending the ESOL program. This program teaches English and supports content area learning. It also promotes cultural understanding and provides outreach to parents and community. The purpose of the program is to facilitate student achievement of English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing and the State academic standards.
Students are identified initially through a Home Language Survey, which includes questions about the child’s primary language.
Once identified through HLS, students are given a placement test (WIDA-ACCESS W-APT) to determine the student’s level of English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
English Language Proficiency Levels within ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State) Framework
|Proficiency Level||Description of Language Skills|
|1 - Entering||Knows and uses minimal social language and minimal academic language with visual support|
|2 - Beginning||Knows and uses social English and general academic language with visual support|
|3 - Developing||Knows and uses social English and some specific academic language with visual support|
|4 - Expanding||Knows and uses social English and some technical academic language|
|5 - Bridging||Knows and uses social and academic language working with grade level materials|
|6 - Reaching||Knows and uses social and academic language at highest level measured by ACCESS test|
If the test shows that the student needs help in improving their English language skills, the student would be placed in an ESOL or Transitional Bilingual Program and a letter will be sent to student’s home notifying the parents of this placement.
Each year all ESOL students will take the ACCESS test, and will be promoted to the ESOL level consistent with their current level of skills.
The goal is for ELLs to fully develop English language proficiency and meet the Pennsylvania Department of Education Exit Criteria within five years of participating in the ESOL /Transitional Bilingual program.
On exiting the ESOL program, the students’ academic progress will be monitored for 2 more years to make sure they are capable of succeeding in a general academic setting.