During our three-way conferences, we are also going to share our first mid-semester ELL reports with you. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some parent information as well.
The Nature of ISM ELL Program
Students who do not speak any English or whose English is not yet sufficient to cope successfully in most situations in the Homeroom classroom receive support through our ELL Program. The ELL Program at the ISM is leveled according to CEFR levels and provides instruction for beginner and intermediate students. We aim to support ELL students until they are able to function independently in the homeroom classroom. We try to
integrate the ELL students fully into the homeroom class as soon as possible. To this end, a supportive environment is provided in the homeroom class to encourage students to take risks in their language learning and to increase their self-confidence. Language is taught and practiced within natural contexts and meaningful situations, in which the students feel accepted, happy and comfortable while feeling challenged at the same time being aware that misunderstandings and mistakes are accepted as essential in the learning process.
We believe in the maintenance and the valuing of the student’s native language and culture. Therefore, we are committed to the support of parents in working with their children at home, as well as to assisting all ELL students in their language learning by giving them useful clues and providing a helping hand whenever it might be needed.
The current ELL Program is structured to meet the individual developmental needs of students at each grade level. The ELL teacher supports the students through both “push-in” and “pull-out” classes. In both cases, ELL teacher coordinates closely with homeroom teachers to provide appropriate content information for students, as well as information about individual student needs. The ELL teacher also discusses the differentiation of work that the students need to accomplish in the homeroom classes.
What are “push-in” and “pull-out” classes?
“Push-in” classes: The ELL teacher joins the ELL students in the homeroom classroom to assist
them with the content work. These classes allow the ELL teacher to assess how the students cope with the content work, to collect information to direct future “pull-out” teaching, and to observe how ELL students integrate socially in their homeroom class.
“Pull-out” classes: ELL teachers take students out of the homeroom classroom to provide language instruction in the ELL session, as well as content-area support. Content-area support will include pre-teaching and re-enforcing of vocabulary and concepts taught in the homeroom class.
Student Assessment and Exiting the ELL Program
Student Assessment and Reporting
Student assessment is an ongoing process throughout the school year in both formal and informal situations. All four skill areas are assessed regularly at a level appropriate to the students’ ability and age. A variety of formative and summative assessment measures are used. Each mid-semester (Terms 1 and 3) the ELL students will receive a report detailing their achievements, progress, and future goals (based on the ELL continuum). This report will provide a clear picture of the learner’s English Language and Literacy development based on The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) that is in line with the ELL curriculum and guidelines. Semester report cards will have an ELL section that replaces the English Language within the Subject section.
Exiting the ESL Program
Students remain in the ELL Program until they demonstrate the language and skills necessary to learn independently in their Homeroom classroom. Some or all of the following criteria assist the ELL teacher in determining the students’ ability to cope effectively in all homeroom and when they do not require any direct services from the ELL teacher anymore:
o ELL exit criteria checklist
o Proficiency tests
o Teacher recommendations
o Homeroom classroom performance
o Socio-cultural adjustment
Upon exiting the ELL Program, the student’s language skills continue to be monitored.