The Berkeley Township School District Schools provide a wide variety of programs and services for our international students who are learning English as their second language. These supports are routinely monitored and evaluated to ensure that our students are receiving the greatest benefit possible.
The mission of the BTSD ESL Program is to provide language instruction that will help our nonnative speakers of English to attain high levels of second language proficiency resulting in spoken fluency and accuracy in both social and academic settings. Linking English language instruction to content area studies, English Language Learners will empower themselves through critical thought, reflection, and action to become active participants in their school and local community.
Students will meet rigorous standards that will prepare them for success in content area studies, preparing them for college, the workplace and beyond. Above all, the Berkeley Township School District Schools will strive to help each student develop a sense of dignity, self-worth, responsibility, respect for others, and the skills to make a significant contribution to our diverse society.
In addition, the department seeks to fulfill its mission throughout dedication to continuous improvement and professional development that promotes effective, research based second language methodologies.
- If students are new to the country, they will be evaluated and placed in the appropriate class.
- If students are presently enrolled in an ELL program and need continued instruction, they will be placed in the appropriate class.
Mastery of the English language can take on average 3 to 5 years.
Mastery of Academic Language can take on average 5-8 years. (Cummins 2006)
Instruction for ELLs
The students are grouped into language ability, Newcomers/Beginners, and Intermediates/ Advanced.
- The Newcomers/Beginners are given interactive instructions in rich language incorporating listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- The Intermediates are provided opportunities in Language Arts and content areas such as Science, Social Studies, Math, and Reading.
- Students receive a minimum of 90 minutes to 160 minutes of instructional time weekly
Testing & Exiting
Testing: The English Language Learners, ELLs, are required to take the state’s ESL test, ACCESS for ELLs, which usually takes place in the spring. In addition, they are required to take the PARCC test.
Exiting: We have a multiple-criteria checklist.
- Obtain a passing grade in their regular classes.
- The ESL and classroom teachers meet to discuss the student’s progress.
New Initiatives for ESL
- Fast For Word and Reading Assistant series for the district
- Increased use of technology (i-Pads, SMARTBoard)
- Curriculum Mapping