Side English as a Second Language

ESL Program Model

The English as a Second Language Program (ESL) is a K-12 program that ensures students who are identified as limited English proficient (LEP) receive the assistance needed to reach high levels of English proficiency so that they can successfully access and benefit from the total school program.  ESL is a program of techniques, methodology and special curriculum designed to teach English reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills to LEP students.  ESL instruction is in English with little use of the students’ native languages.  In addition, academic content is integrated into ESL instruction to assist LEP students’ in developing content, cognitive, and study skills as they develop their English language skills.

ESL services are provided to LEP students through ESL “pull-out” in the elementary schools and as a regularly scheduled elective ESL class in the middle schools and in the high schools.  ESL “pull-out” requires LEP students to spend most of the day in mainstream classes and receive forty-five minutes of ESL instruction 2-3 times weekly.  LEP students in the middle schools and in the high schools receive ESL instruction during a regularly scheduled class period.  Students from different language backgrounds receive instruction in English.  The goal is for every LEP student to reach grade-level proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing as measured by the ACCESS (state-adopted English proficiency test).

Program Goals

  • To identify national origin minority students (NOMS).
  • To assess the English language proficiency of NOMS to determine if they are LEP.  The W-APT is the initial assessment used to determine if a NOMS is limited in English.
  • To afford students identified as LEP the opportunity to receive ESL services and provide them with appropriate instructional services.
  • To meet the individual needs of LEP students through the use of the WIDA Standards and their Individual Service Plan (ISP).
  • To provide LEP students with appropriate differentiated instruction through the use of second language strategies that will accelerate both the students’ language proficiency in English and academic progress.
  • To provide LEP students, as needed, with immediate interventions so they do not fall behind academically.
  • To “exit” students from the ESL Program once they have reached grade-level proficiency as pre-determined by the NC State Department of Public Instruction composite scores on the ACCESS language test so that they can succeed linguistically and academically with their peers.
  • To monitor student progress up to one school year to ensure students are succeeding in the mainstream curriculum.
  • To provide staff development for ESL teachers, regular classroom teachers, and other school personnel as needed.
  • To communicate effectively with parents and the community to promote involvement and participation in reaching program goals, support student progress, and assist during scheduled meetings and activities.

Program Procedures
All students enrolling in the Cumberland County Schools must have a completed Language Survey Card in their cumulative folders.  Parents are required to answer four questions.  If a language other than English appears on the language card, the student is considered a national origin minority student.  The student is then scheduled to be assessed on the W-APT in listening, speaking, reading, and writing to determine if he/she is limited English proficient.

Once a student has been identified as LEP, the parent or legal guardian is contacted by phone and a Parent Interview is initiated.  If the parent/guardian wants his/her child to receive ESL services, a Permission Slip is sent home for the parent’s/guardian’s to sign.  If the parent/guardian does not want his/her child to receive ESL services, a Waiver is sent home and the parent is asked to comment, sign, and date it. An LEP student is scheduled for ESL services depending on the student’s grade level.  LEP students in the elementary schools receive services through the ESL “Pull-Out” model two to three times weekly for 45 minute classes.  LEP students in grades 6-12 receive services as an elective ESL class and are seen daily.  English is the language of instruction.  The students’ native languages, cultures, and histories are valued and are an integral part in developing the students’ second language, sense of pride, and self-esteem.

An Individual Service Plan is maintained for all LEP students in the program.  It outlines the language skills students must attain and these are taken directly from the WIDA Standards.  It also allows for teacher comments, suggestions, and resources being used to work with the students.  The ESL teachers are asked to maintain a portfolio for every LEP student in the program with samples of their work.  Student work consists of, but is not limited to, alternative assessments such as: reading logs, oral interviews, writing samples, journals, projects, and teacher observations.

The ACCESS, the state-adopted English language proficiency test, is administered yearly once a student has been initially assessed on the W-APT and identified as LEP.  During the yearly two-month testing cycle (February-March), any student identified as LEP must be assessed.  According to NC State Board of Education policy HSP-K-000 (16 NCAC 6D.0106), parents/guardians of language minority students, language minority students, or limited English proficient students themselves cannot refuse testing.  When an LEP student reaches the proficiency level in the four language domains, as established by the NCSDPI, he/she “exits” the program.  An Exit Form  is completed and a letter is sent home to the parent or legal guardian notifying him/her of their child’s progress and recommendation that the child is no longer LEP and no longer in need of services.

A parent/guardian may request to have his/her child removed from the ESL Program at any time.  It is an optional service that is available to students identified as LEP.  In cases such as these, a parent/guardian is asked to sign a waiver and comment why he/she wants his/her child removed from the program.

The original Language Card, Parent Interview, Permission Slip, Waiver (when applicable), and Exiting Form are kept in the students’ cumulative folder and copies are filed in the ESL office.  It is the responsibility of the ESL teachers and the classroom teachers to monitor LEP students who “exit” the program.  Collaboration needs to take place in situations where the student may need interventions to develop and to reinforce his/her cognitive academic language proficiency.

 Assessment Procedures
The ESL faculty and staff maintain a collaborative working relationship with staff from the Assessment Center and the school Testing Coordinators (TCs).  The Assessment Center collects data through the WINSCAN program.  It is used to scan, print student roster labels, and individual reports.  When NOMS are assessed, all answer sheets are submitted to the Assessment Center.  The Assessment Center scans the answer sheets and prints copies of the students’ language proficiency scores.  The school TCs are responsible for picking up the scores and making sure the parents/guardians receive copies of the scores with an explanation of the results.  Copies of the scores are kept in the individual students’ test cards located in their school cumulative folders and in their individual ESL files housed in the ESL office.  Once students are identified as LEP, the ESL teachers contact the parents.  LEP students are placed in the ESL Program once parents have given their oral and written approval.

Staff from the ESL Program and the Assessment Center work collaboratively to schedule the dates and time to assess all students identified as LEP during the annual testing-cycle.  The school TCs secure the testing materials, as well as proctors, and appropriate testing areas.  The ESL teachers are trained to administer the ACCESS Listening, Reading, and Writing.  The ACCESS Orals are administered by trained native English proficient CCS staff.

LEP students are part ofNorth Carolina’s statewide testing program.  Depending on the LEP students’ number of years inU.S.schools and their language proficiency levels, the determination is made at the individual school sites whether they will be:

  •  Excluded from taking theReadingand/or the Writing assessment(s) at grades 4, 7, and 10.
  • Administered state-mandated tests with or without accommodations.

Alternative assessments (e.g. writing samples; story or text retelling; oral interviews; projects/exhibitions; experiments/demonstrations; teacher observations; portfolios; and language experience approach) are recommended to determine the individual LEP student’s progress in language and academic development.

NCSDPI provides school systems with current procedures to follow for the participation of LEP students in statewide testing program.  School systems are required to provide students and parents with notification of testing, accommodations decisions, and participation in the testing program.

Instructional Materials and Resources
The ESL Program has adopted the following textbooks to serve its LEP student population: Avenues (Grades K-5); High Point (Grades 6-8); and Shining Star and Edge (Grades 9-12).  Along with the use of textbooks, the ESL teachers are assigned supplementary materials to use throughout the school year appropriate for LEP students in different grade levels and different English proficiency levels.  The ESL Resource Center houses a wealth of additional supplementary materials that reinforce English language acquisition, academic language development, and content found in textbooks and in mainstream classrooms.  The ESL teachers borrow materials from the ESL Resource Center.

Resource materials have also been placed in all schools with LEP students and in theCCSProfessionalMediaCenterlocated at the Educational Resource Center (ERC).  Mainstream teachers are encouraged to access these materials because they contain hundreds of suggestions, strategies, and ideas on how to work with English Language Learners (ELLs); how to address both social and academic language in lesson preparation; how students learn a second language (the process of second language acquisition); cultural factors that may or may not impede learning (importance of building background knowledge); and the importance of formative (alternative assessments) and summative assessments in monitoring the progress or lack of progress of LEP students.

Instructional Strategies for LEP Students
 The ESL teachers use a variety of second language instructional strategies to develop and improve students’ language proficiency.  The following are some strategies used by the ESL teacher to enhance English language acquisition:

  • The Natural Approach
  • Total Physical Response (TPR)
  • Language Experience Approach (LEA)
  • Story or Text Retelling
  • Read Alouds
  • Thinking Maps for ELLs
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Projects/Hands-On Activities
  • Journal Writing
  • Role-playing

The CCS maintains compliance with the National Origin Section of Title VI ofthe Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The system adheres to federal  mandates and guidelines as outlined in No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, “Title III: Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students, “ Public Law 107-110, January 8, 2002 and to NCSDPI mandates as they pertain to LEP students.

CCS is committed to continuous improvement and high expectations for all students and values diversity.  It offers to its diverse population, “choices that address student interests, learning, styles, and individual plans for the future,” and schools that “will be safe and caring and student achievement will continually increase with no difference among subgroups.”

The CCS ESL faculty and staff will continue to work in collaboration with school faculty and staff, parents, the NCSDPI, and other agencies (e.g. OELA, CREDE, OBLEMA, TESOL) to keep abreast of current pedagogy, resources, methodology, and assessments in meeting the social, linguistic, and academic needs of LEP students.  Their goal is to provide LEP students with every opportunity to succeed in school while at the same time closing the achievement gap, and preparing them to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Published by Nydzia Smith on August 26, 2016

Cumberland County Schools
2465 Gillespie Street • Fayetteville, NC 28306

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