ESL Instructions for the School Age PopulationNiagara Wheatfield Central School District provides English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction as a part of Freestanding English as a Second Language (ESL) program to our population of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students.
The State Education Department has undertaken a series of steps to ensure that all limited English proficient/English language learners are provided with the necessary services to enable them to attain the New York State learning standards. As it is indicated in The Teaching of Language Arts to LEP/ELLS: A Resource Guide for All Teachers two closely related initiatives are: (1) research and identification of seven Essential Elements of Effective Programs for Limited English Proficient (LEP)/English Language Learners (ELL); and (2) a policy statement entitled Twelve Action Steps to Assist Limited English Proficient/English Language Learners in Meeting the English Language Arts (ELA) Standards.The findings reveal that the most effective models address the uniqueness of their given context. In so doing, they not only meet the special needs of their LEP/ELLs, but they also provide quality bilingual and ESL instruction that allow LEP/ELLs to meet the higher standards. The New York State differentiates two types of programs addressing the needs of the Limited English Proficient students: Bilingual Education Program and Freestanding English as a Second Language Program.Bilingual Education Program- Implemented in school districts, which have an enrollment of 20 or more LEP students of the same grade level assigned to a building, all of whom have the same native language, which is other than English. The bilingual education program includes two components: a language arts instructional component and a content area instructional component. The language arts instructional component is delivered through instruction in English language arts, English as a second language and native language arts. The content area instructional component is delivered though instruction in the native language and English through ESL methodologies.Freestanding English as a Second Language Program- Implemented in school districts, which have fewer than 20 LEP students at the same grade level, assigned to a building who speak the same or different native language other than English. The freestanding ESL program includes two components: a language arts instructional component and a content area instructional component. The language arts instructional component is delivered through instruction in English language arts and English as a second language. Part 154 of Commissioner's Regulations manages the requirements for the education of Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students. The Freestanding ESL program immerses students in content area instruction in English for most of the day while providing English language instructions through ESL methodology. Certified teachers of ESL focus on developing and improving all four modalities of the language - speaking, listening, reading, and writing, - in compliance with the New York State ELA and ESL standards.