Our student population here at Ann Street School is upwards of 95% bilingual. Many of our students are either new to the country, or have English as their second language. We have the largest ESL population in the city of Newark.
At Ann Street School we are committed to providing all English Language Learners with a program that will enable them to become proficient speakers, readers and writers of English who are successful members of society and have high student achievement.
Entry Into the ESL Program
Upon entering school, new students are given an English proficiency entry test based on their Home Language Survey. This determines whether or not they are eligible for ESL services. Once placed in the program, students are grouped by English proficiency level, grade level, and class, and assigned to one of the 6 ESL teachers on staff.
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. Second language instruction is developmental, not remedial. This process takes time, and the amount of time varies by student.
At Ann Street School, we offer Pull-Out ESL services, which simply means that students are pulled out of their class for 50 minutes per day for intensive instruction in English. Children learn language better and more quickly when groups are small and language learning can be engaging and enjoyable. Here, students are offered daily opportunities for interaction, dialogue and practice in an intimate, natural, positive, and low stress environment.
Our ESL program targets communication skills, grammatical structure, cross-cultural understanding and, most importantly, the gradual development of that higher-level ”Academic English” which every student must master to be able to succeed in school and in society. We incorporate a balanced second language learning sequence where all domains—listening, speaking, reading and writing are developed.
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 mainstreamed 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.