English as a Second Language
English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Goals
- To enable English learners (ELs) to become competent in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the English language through the integrated use of second language methods. (ELs are those students who are in the process of acquiring English and have another language as their first/native language.)
- To emphasize the mastery of English language skills, as well as mathematics, science, and social studies, as integral parts of the academic goals for all students to enable English language learners to participate equitably in school.
- To utilize instructional approaches designed to meet the special needs of English language learners, as well as to include the essential knowledge and skills required by the state of Texas.
ESL Program Description
A school district that has an enrollment of 20 or more English learners in any one grade level must offer bilingual instruction. All English language learners for whom a bilingual education program is not required, shall be provided an English as a second language program, regardless of the students’ grade levels and home language, and regardless of the number of EL students. Hitchcock ISD provides an ESL program for all identified English language learners, as student enrollment does not currently require a bilingual program.
ESL programs are designed to develop proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the English Language. Instruction in ESL shall be commensurate with the student’s level of English proficiency and his or her level of academic achievement. ESL programs address the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of ELs.
Identification of Students for the ESL Program
Upon enrollment, parents or guardians complete a Home Language Survey (HLS). If a language other than English is entered on this form, the process of assessing English language proficiency begins. Assessments and student data is reviewed by the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) and placement decisions are made following the state EL identification criteria.
ESL Program Services
Students meeting the state established identification criteria are served through the district ESL program. English language learners are allowed accommodations and supports on assignments, grade level testing, and state assessments (per guidelines for allowable accommodations from the Texas Education Agency). Decisions regarding individualized EL student supports are the responsibility of the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC).
Per state requirements, student services are provided in one of two ways:
- An English as a second language content-based program model serves identified English language learners with a full-time teacher certified to provide ESL supplementary instruction for all content area instruction; or
- An English as a second language pull-out program model that services identified English language learners with a part-time teacher certified to provide instruction focused on English language arts, while the student remains in a mainstream instructional arrangement in the remaining content areas.
In Hitchcock ISD, ESL support is generally provided through a content-based program model, in which identified EL students receive supplementary instruction for all content areas by a trained ESL teacher. The goal of Hitchcock ISD is to have all classroom teachers ESL trained and certified. In cases where this is not possible (or where training is in process), a trained/certified ESL teacher will provide support through a pull-out program model.
Student Monitoring and Exiting
The LPAC meets at least annually to review and monitor student academic growth and English language acquisition. Individual student progress (due to the grade level of first enrollment in U.S. schools, previous schooling outside of the country, etc.) determines when a student is exited from the program. Decisions regarding exit are determined by the LPAC utilizing a state determined exit criteria. Required progress in English language acquisition must be made in four areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Once a student exits the program, the LPAC monitors them for another two years in order to track student achievement and ensure ongoing student progress.