The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program in the Middleborough Public Schools is still in the process of developing its own curriculum, but continues to instruct and support English Language Learners (ELLs) who are working in mainstream classrooms throughout the district. The role of the ESOL teacher is to act as liaison between classroom teachers and their mainstreamed ELL students and to provide language lessons in the context of the subjects being taught. Therefore, the ESOL program, using the WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards for English Language Learners, supports the K-12 teachers in their adherence to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
It is the task of the ESOL teacher to work closely with teachers at all levels—elementary, middle and secondary—and to synchronize English language lessons to the material being taught. The goal is to prevent ELLs from falling behind their native-English-speaking peers due to lack of comprehension and vocabulary; this program enables these students to learn English in context while learning content at the same pace as their classmates at the appropriate grade levels.
The elementary (K-5) program is primarily a pull-out program. The teacher draws from a wealth of ESOL materials (please see attached resource list) and utilizes a variety of strategies to make content-area vocabulary and concepts comprehensible and to promote ongoing language and literacy development.
The middle school (6-8) program is also a pull-out program. The major focus at this level is on building academic vocabulary; students also work extensively with the ESOL teacher on writing, particularly in the areas of open response questions, writing to prompts, and composing essays for different purposes (narrative, persuasive, compare and contrast, etc.).At the high school level, the ESOL teacher works with students not only in the ongoing development of academic vocabulary and writing, but on test-taking strategies for success on the MCAS. Because the content vocabulary is complex, this is a large component of the program. Among the duties of the ESOL teacher is working with ELL seniors on filling out the Common Application to apply to colleges with the goal of teaching vocabulary that enables the student to fill out the form independently. The ESOL teacher meets intensively with classroom teachers at the high school level in order to ensure that students acquire the language and academic tools to become independent learners in their second language.