ESL Program - Title III
The mission of Johnston County's English as a Second Language Program is to assure that all speakers of other languages who score below proficient on the WIDA initial placement test attain high levels of proficiency in English and achieve high academic standards according to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. We are dedicated to serving the needs of our English Learners (ELs) by providing them with access to an excellent education.
The English as a Second Language Program provides the following services:
Identify English Learners based on the WIDA initial placement test when they enter the school system;
- Provide instructional services depending on the proficiency level of our students: pull-out, co-teaching, or collaborative;
- Monitor academic achievement of essential knowledge and skills;
- Provide professional development for our ESL teachers, mainstream teachers, and paraprofessionals;
- Promote parent involvement.
ESL Instruction is effective when curriculum is based upon grade level content and instruction that is designed for the English proficiency level of the learner. A variety of print materials and digital tools are available for teachers.
Entering, Emerging, and Developing proficient English Learners receive frequent "pullout" instruction of language development that is based on grade-level concepts. The use of controlled vocabulary selected from essential curriculum ensures that students learn as much grade level information as possible.
The limitations of ESL Pullout services are most apparent for higher proficient ELs who have a good grasp of English proficiency, but have not yet caught up with the academic language proficiency of their peers. Standards are high and much of the NC Standard Course of Study spirals and builds upon earlier learning. The Johnston County Public Schools support various NC ESL initiatives as strategies for content teachers to better meet the needs of ELs within the regular class.
When possible, ESL and mainstream teachers plan together and co-teach. In this way, it is possible to increase the capacity of both teachers to meet the needs of ELs by the ESL teacher modeling appropriately-modified instruction and the mainstream teacher modeling grade-level skills and content instruction. The language of instruction is English. Instruction and assessment are based upon the goals and standards of the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards for Pre K-12 Students.
ESL teachers do not necessarily speak the native language of the students although it is useful for communicating with parents and occasionally explaining content. Almost all of the ESL staff have acquired proficiency in a second language, most in Spanish.) ESL teachers may explain a certain procedure or concept to students in their native language, especially in ESL Class. However, the process of learning a second language requires that learning tasks be processed in the target language, English. ESL teachers are qualified and trained in research-based techniques of teaching English as a Second Language.
Peer interaction is an important aspect of language acquisition. Cooperative learning, peer tutoring, and other research-based social instructional methods that involve the ELs are used to promote this interaction. Whole language techniques are effective ways to make instruction meaningful for all students. The use of visuals, gestures, drama, videos, recordings, graphic organizers, modeling and demonstration assessment provide contextual clues for the ELs. Teachers are encouraged to use various strategies that recognize the value of the languages and cultures represented in the classroom, such as allowing ELs to share the native translation of words and concepts.
For more information contact:
Ana Lucia Milazzotto