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English for Speakers of Other Languages

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is an English language development program for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students whose home/native/primary language is a language other than English. The program focuses on developing their proficiency in processing and producing academic English language.

The ESOL curriculum aligns English language instruction with content standards. Students develop their language and literacy skills in the context of the content curriculum. ESOL teachers analyze the academic language demands involved in grade-level teaching and learning to identify the English language needed for functional use in discipline specific topics.

Aligning English language instruction with content instruction ensures that language functions are differentiated for student’s English proficiency while maintaining the cognitive function of grade-level instruction.

ESOL Standards

Program Philosophy

English language learners are a dynamic group of students. They possess diverse experiences, skills, and knowledge that enhances their education and enriches school communities. The regular and active participation of English learners in classrooms promotes language development while providing all students with opportunities to understand other perspectives and cultures.

The HCPSS ESOL Office promotes the development of students’ proficiency in English listening, speaking, reading, and writing as they engage in continued study of academic content including language arts, math, science, and social studies.

ESOL teachers recognize and lift up the strengths of students as individuals and as valued members of our school communities. They apply knowledge of every student’s unique cultural background, English language proficiency profile, and academic strengths in order to promote inclusive and rigorous instruction for all students.

Across all grades, ESOL instruction is aligned with World Class Instructional Design (WIDA) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In partnerships with content teachers, ESOL teachers assess and monitor students’ English language development, analyze the language demands of classroom tasks, and apply Universal Design Learning principles to ensure that all students are engaged in learning.

K-12 ESOL Programs

Literacy development is a primary focus of ESOL instruction in K-12. In elementary and middle schools, ESOL teachers use a variety of instructional models to provide language instruction to English learners. ESOL teachers may use pull-out, push-in or co-teaching to deliver English language instruction. The ESOL teacher consults regularly with the students’ content teachers in order to align English language instruction with content instruction.

In high schools, ESOL teachers use co-teaching as well as sheltered instruction to teach the English language development curriculum and the ESOL English language arts curriculum which is aligned with the Maryland College and Career Readiness Standards for English.