Hi! My name is Evelia Benoit. I am the ESL specialist at Creekview Elementary This is my second year with Tomball ISD, and I can't wait to build students' English vocabulary and comprehension.
I have taught bilingual English/Spanish in 4th, 3rd, & 2nd grade for 10 years prior to coming to Tomball ISD.
General information about the ESL Program offered at Creekview
· If a language other than English is indicated on the Home Language Survey, the student is tested at the home campus to determine if additional help is needed in academic English.
· ESL students are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities, when available. · ESL students may exit at the end of the year, after 1st grade, if their scores in reading and language arts are at or above the 40th percentile of an approved achievement test or they pass the Reading/Writing sections of STAAR 3-8th in English.
· An exited ESL student is monitored for two years.
· Students may re-enter the program if necessary.
· All ESL students are given an oral language test, and in grades 2-12 they are given an approved achievement test.
· The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) from the state is used to assess English Language Learners (ELL) in grades K-12. This assessment measures the percent of ELL making progress in learning English in reading, speaking, listening and writing.
What is an English as a Second Language (ESL) program?
An ESL program is a school district’s written plan for educating English Language Learners to both improve their English language proficiency and to assure that they meet the academic standards in the content areas. The program, therefore, considers the entire curriculum for students including their entry and exit criteria. ESL is definitely not the “slow” class, nor is it a study hall. We have high expectations for these classes and your child.
How are new students placed in ESL?
New students whose English proficiency is below grade level are placed in ESL so they can be supported as they learn English.
Must ELLS participate in the state assessment (STAAR)?
Students identified as ELL will be included in the STAAR 3 - 12th in the district. They will be provided with accommodations depending on their level of language proficiency.
What is the Home Language Survey?
The survey is the tool used to meet the requirement that school districts identify students with a primary or home language other than English. The school district must maintain a list of students with another language in their background. It is the document that must be completed for each student enrolled in the school that determines the dominant language spoken in the home and the possible needs of ESL services. The survey will become part of every student’s permanent record folder until graduation.
Is an English language deficiency a reason for placement in special education?
No. ELLs may be eligible for special education services only when it has been determined that a disability exists. This deficiency is not solely due to lack of instruction or proficiency in the English language.
Does ESL instruction end when special education services begin?
No, ESL instruction must continue for ELLs placed in special education. The ESL instruction can be discontinued when the student meets the exit criteria described in the school district ESL program plan.
Can content area teachers refuse to have an ESL student in their classrooms?
No. ELLs must be instructed in the same content areas as other students in a school district. The instruction should be accommodated to meet the needs of ELLs.
Should district school tests be adapted for ELLS?
ELLs should have opportunities to demonstrate the proficient level of the standards through a variety of assessment strategies (e.g., portfolio, demonstrations, models, observation, paper and pencil tests).
How should the content area instruction be accommodated for ELLS?
All teachers must provide accommodations to meet the needs of each student in reaching the proficient level of the academic standards. Emphasis on important vocabulary, multiple strategies to learn core concepts with less detail and simple sentence structures are examples of effective accommodations in helping ELLS move toward mastery of the academic standards. All ELLs are integrated with the general population.
Should the grading system be adapted for ELLs?
ELLS should be graded on grade level objectives with accommodations established at the beginning of the grading period. ELLs should not receive a failing grade due to language barriers.
· ELLs language acquisition will be taken into consideration when making decisions regarding grade placement/promotion.
· An ESL student who has been in attendance in U.S. schools for a minimum of one full semester or 18 total weeks will receive a letter grade (E-Excellent, S-Satisfactory, N– Needs Improvement, or U-Unsatisfactory) utilizing a language progress record.
Can an ELL be retained due to lack of English proficiency?
No student should be retained because of his/her failure to demonstrate basic skills in English. ELL students will receive differentiated instruction so they will be successful.
What can we as parents do to help our child succeed in English?
Immerse your child in the English language. Language learners at all levels need frequent exposure to good language models, and they need practice using the language. Some things you can do are:
A) Read books in English.
B) Write in English often. This can be done through journals, writing letters or postcards to family, friends or pen pals, writing stories, creating memory books, or other creative ways.
C) Listen to good English language models.
D) Provide opportunities for your child to speak and interact in English.
The links to the brochures that explain the ESL program and Bilingual/Dual Language program are below:
ESL - goo.gl/wQR4fQ
Bilingual /Dual Language - goo.gl/OkAWAu