Mission of the ESL ProgramThe purpose of the English as a Second Language Program in the Evesham Township School District is to create a culturally sensitive environment where students acquiring English are given the opportunity to develop the language skills necessary to communicate for social and instructional purposes in order to succeed in the school environment. Integrated language instruction allows learners to approach the learning task by combining the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in communication, and by accessing their knowledge of culture. We believe that effective language learning is meaningful, engaging, and interactive; and that it will lead students to discover that they are members of an interdependent world community.
In order to achieve the district mission for ESL instruction, students will need to work toward fulfilling the following goals:
· Use English to engage in basic conversation and communication
· Develop proficiency in the four modes of language acquisition (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and apply in the various content areas
· Acquire the necessary communicative skills to perform to his/her potential in the general education program at the earliest possible time
· Learn how to function socially within the school environment and community
· Foster acculturation of the ESL population through an understanding of the American culture/language without relinquishing the original native culture/language
· Encourage cross-cultural understanding on the part of American students by encouraging them to learn about and appreciate the various ethnic backgrounds of our ESL students through active participation.
The Evesham Township School District has established a magnet program for ESL students. The magnet schools are DeMasi and Marlton, since they offer services to students in grades K through 8. The ESL program is facilitated by certified ESL teachers in each building.
At the elementary level, an inclusion/pull-out program is provided for a minimum of thirty minutes a day. At the middle school level, ESL services are scheduled for a minimum of one class period per day. Emphasis is on attaining an acceptable degree of proficiency in listening and speaking skills with a gradual increase in the development of reading and writing skills. Culture is integrated throughout the program.
Within the program schedule, adjustments are made to allow for additional opportunities to accommodate student needs. These needs are accommodated by a flexible program, which varies from high intensity to immersion. The high intensity component allows the student to receive additional instruction from the ESL teacher, depending on the child’s level of language proficiency. The immersion component allows the student to remain in the general education classroom as much as possible, with in-class support being offered by the ESL teacher when feasible.