ESL stands for English as a Second Language. It is for students who speak languages other than English and who come from homes and communities with diverse histories, traditions, worldviews, and educational experiences. Upon entering school, new students are given an English proficiency entry test based on their Home Language Survey. If they fall below the cut off score, there are considered limited English proficient (LEP) and will be included in the ESL program.
There are 5 language proficiency levels in the progression of language development. They are:
- Level 1 Entering – use pictorial, graphic, or non-verbal representations of language, phrases and simple sentences to communicate in content areas
- Level 2 Beginning – understand and produce key language terminology related to content areas using longer phrases and sentences
- Level 3 Developing – process specific language of the content areas, and use more complex sentence structures to present ideas
- Level 4 Expanding – process and produce essential language of the content areas using variety of sentence structures of higher linguistic complexity to convey meaning
- Level 5 Bridging – process, interpret and evaluate the technical language of the content areas through linguistically elaborate and acceptable oral and written discourse, approaching that of English proficient peers.
Our ESL curriculum is designed to move students efficiently into higher levels of language.
Camden Street also offers a bilingual program for Spanish speaking students. Students enrolled in ESL are automatically enrolled in the bilingual program if their native language is Spanish. Students in grades k through 8 are serviced by the ESL and bilingual teacher through the pull out/push in program. Through assessments, if it is found that the services are needed the student will receive them.
Each Spring our ESL students are tested with an annual NJ DOE mandated English Language Proficiency Assessment, ACCESS for ELLs. Based on their performance, as well as the recommendations of the ESL teacher and the classroom teacher, students will either continue in the program, or be transferred out of the program.
It is our ultimate goal to prepare our English Language Learners to not only succeed academically, becoming proficient speakers, readers, and writers, but it is our high expectation that they become well-rounded individuals who are caring, respectful, and responsible members of society and are able to succeed outside of school as well.