English Language Education
The English Language Education (ELE) program at New Heights Charter School of Brockton is designed to ensure all of our English learners (ELs) are provided the opportunity to participate meaningfully in our general education program, gain social and academic English proficiency, and develop essential skills and habits that promote lifelong learning and college and career readiness. At NHCSB our English Learners are a top priority. In order to equip our students with the tools they need to be successful in school and beyond, we have developed a multifaceted and comprehensive approach to addressing the linguistic, academic, and nonacademic needs of our ELs.
One of the key elements of our approach is celebrating and valuing our English learners’ diverse backgrounds. We recognize that our ELs bring a wealth of linguistic and cultural diversity to our community, and we make it a point to celebrate this diversity and validate our ELs own experiences and backgrounds through various extracurricular activities and a culturally sensitive curriculum.
In addition, our program is designed to provide ELs access to effective, high-quality instruction and to close linguistic and academic proficiency gaps. We provide all of our ELs with sheltered content instruction through our Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) program, and specialized English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction that is aligned to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks and the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English language proficiency and assessment standards Framework. This essentially means that our ELs are enrolled in an SEI program and receive specialized ESL instruction as a fundamental component of the overarching SEI program.
In our SEI model, ELs from different linguistic backgrounds are in mainstream core academic classes, taught by qualified content-area teachers. All classroom instruction is in English. In order to ensure equitable access to grade-level curriculum, core academic teachers shelter the content, making the content of their lessons more comprehensible for ELs, while simultaneously promoting the development of content-specific academic language needed to successfully master content standards. As an additional component to our ELE program, ELs receive specialized ESL instruction that is designed to advance English language development, and foster English language proficiency. In order to meet our ELs individual needs, ESL instruction provided to our ELs is appropriate for each students’ individual English language proficiency level. ESL instruction promotes academic achievement by providing students with systematic, explicit, and sustained language instruction that entails a laser-sharp focus on academic language. ESL instruction includes social and academic language in all four language domains: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Together, our integrated approach, provides ELs the SEI and ESL instruction necessary to begin closing linguistic and academic proficiency gaps.
The last part of our strategic ELE approach is building valued and trusting relationships with our EL families. It is important to us that we know our families and that our families know us. One of the cornerstone pieces of our program is ensuring that parents can meaningfully participate in the decision-making process relative to the type of programming their child will receive. Therefore, we have at least one meeting with each family per year and participate in this decision-making process as a team. We are in constant communication with our families. We provide translation services for families who need it, and we provide important written documents regarding ELs placement in the ELE program in the family’s native language. We also provide various types of support services and programming for our families during after school hours. We value our partnership with our families and believe that together, we can do more to further each child’s education.