The Bergen Arts and Science Charter School (BASCS) specifically designed its English as a Second Language (ESL) Program for students whose native language is not English. Objectives include the development of grammar skills, while also improving speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, using second language acquisition teaching techniques and incorporating past and present cultural aspects of the pupils’ experience. A special emphasis is placed on the grammar/syntax of the English language. The WIDA- MODEL placement tests, teacher’s judgment, and student academic performance determine eligibility for these courses.
The ESL Program is founded upon an understanding of children from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and the need to ensure that all English language learners (ELLs) have access to high quality instruction, and to provide better access for ELLs to the general education curriculum. In addition to the language proficiency needed for interpersonal, intercultural and instructional purposes, English language learners need to develop academic language in order to succeed in American society. This focus on academic language is supported by research on effective language instruction as well as the provisions of No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Language acquisition is a long-term process involving progression through developmental stages of increasing language proficiency. Individual learners move through these stages at variable rates. Language learners vary in their productive and receptive skills. Receptive language skills generally develop prior to and often to a higher level than the productive language skills. Therefore, English language learners may not be at a uniform level of English language proficiency across the four language domains. The differential language acquisition of these students in the language domains must be taken into consideration for instructional planning and assessment. Attainment of academic standards for English Language Learners (ELLs) is possible if there is shared responsibility and collaboration based on common understanding and mutual goals among all teachers who serve English language learners.
Identifying Limited English Proficient Students
Bergen Arts & Science Charter School (BASCS) District provides an English as a Second Language (ESL) Program which ensures that all limited English proficient Limited English Proficient (LEP) students as defined in the NJAC 6A:16 are provided with a free, appropriate public education as defined in NJSA 18A:35-15 to 26. PASCS has developed a screening process, initiated by a home language survey, to determine which students in K to 9th grade must be tested to assess English language proficiency. Students in grades K to 9th who are not screened out must be tested with WIDA MODEL. In addition, the following indicators must be considered (multiple measures): level of reading in English; previous academic performance; achievement on standardized tests in English; and teacher’s judgment. Students who do not meet the Department standard on a Department-approved language proficiency test and who have at least one other indicator, are students of limited English proficiency. State and federal law require parental notification and consent for placement in a language assistance program.
Bergen Arts and Science Charter School (BASCS) has implemented an ESL-Only Program which is a daily developmental second language program of up to two periods of instruction based on student language proficiency. The ESL-Only program teaches aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing in English using second language teaching techniques, and incorporates the cultural aspects of the students’ experiences in their ESL instruction. A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects. Students whose language proficiency levels are entering or emerging are pulled out from their content area class for ESL instruction. Inclusion support during the content area instruction is provided for students whose language proficiency levels are developing or expanding. Depending on the student’s English language proficiency they are either placed in an inclusion or pull-out program.
Standards: WIDA English Language Development Standards www.wida.us
Assessment: ACCESS for ELLs® English Proficiency Test www.nj.gov/education/bilingual/ells
Accountability: Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives www.nj.gov/education
Bilingual Education website: www.nj.gov/education/bilingual
Colorin Colorado: www.colorincolorado.org
BILINGUAL/ESL THREE-YEAR PROGRAM PLAN SCHOOL YEARS 2014-2017