The ultimate goal for the student who is an English Language Learner (ELL) is autonomy in the target language (English). ESL support is meant to promote and enhance academic excellence for English Language Learners.
In an increasingly culturally diverse world, The Gilbert School recognizes the need for all educational stakeholders to offer a variety of learning experiences and opportunity designed to ensure successful learning for all students.
In particular, ESL Students' needs are addressed according to CT State Department of Education Guidelines for English Language Learners.
Students at Levels One, Two or Three are offered mandatory support.
Students at Levels 4 and 5 may experience total immersion into mainstream classes, with optional support and monitoring of their progress.
The process of serving ELLs is on a continuum that begins when the student arrives and ends when they have exited the ELL program by mastering the CAPT tests in Reading and Math and achieving an overall score of Level 4 or 5 in English Language Proficiency as measured by the LAS Links.
- Identification of ELLs through a Home Language Survey
- English Language Proficiency Oral Assessment (standardized interview)
- Placement Test (LAS Links) in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
- Following consultation with student, ESL teacher, counselors and mainstream teachers, students are offered classes according to their ability to function in their native country and their overall ability to master academic subjects.
During their first month or so of school students receive:
- Newcomer Welcome and Orientation
- Targeted, Culturally Sensitive ESL Instruction and support
- May include use of native language learning materials/translation
- Observation of student in various settings
- Building knowledge through academic and social language development
- Alignment with CCSS (Common Core State Standards)
- Annual Assessment of English Language Proficiency using LAS Links (assessment tool)
- Integration of Technology in all subject areas
- Formative and summative classroom assessments (ongoing informal assessments)
- Sheltered Instruction as needed
- Additional Support
Students will be encouraged to participate independently in a global society by using higher level thinking skills, and to compete with native English speakers in mainstream classes and extracurricular activities. These ESL students have the advantage of dual language competency, which will serve them well going forward in all their future endeavors.
In our Vision statement: “The Gilbert School, in partnership with parents and community, will strive to prepare every student for a lifetime of learning by producing an educational experience that fosters intellectual, social, emotional and personal growth in a safe and nurturing environment.”