The ESL (English as a Second Language) Program addresses the general principles of language acquisition. These principles include:
*Language is functional
*Language learning is cultural learning
*Language acquisition is a long-term process
*Language acquisition occurs through meaningful use and interaction
*Language processes develop interdependently
*Native language proficiency contributes to second language acquisition
ESL students must acquire both conversational and academic language skills. Second language learning is developmental in nature. Therefore, it may take three to six years to achieve academic proficiency in English. Language acquisition is dependent on educational background, first language background, learning styles, cognitive styles, motivation, and personality. The ESL program provides students with varied and meaningful experiences, materials, activities, and opportunities that will enable them to reach their full potential. It also helps students foster an appreciation of the English language and American culture.
GOALS OF THE ESL PROGRAM
*To develop proficiency in listening comprehension, appropriate for the grade level of the student.
*To understand and use English vocabulary for listening, speaking, reading, and writing, in social and academic settings, appropriate for the grade level of the student.
*To acquire proficiency in speaking English for real purposes and audiences.
*To acquire proficiency in reading comprehension.
*To develop the ability to write grammatically correct sentences, paragraphs, short essays, and reports appropriate for the grade level of the students.
*To develop a knowledge and appreciation of American culture.
*To develop self-esteem as the student becomes more comfortable in his/her new environment and with his/her new language.
*To use technology as a tool for acquiring English Language skills.