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English Learner Language Program

The education of students whose dominant language is not English and/or are English language learners, is the responsibility of every school district/charter school in the Commonwealth. Title 22, Chapter 4, Section 4.26 of the Curriculum Regulations requires that the school district/charter school provide a program for every student who is limited English proficient (LEP) or an English language learner (ELL). The regulation states:

"Every school district shall provide a program for each student whose dominant language is not English for the purpose of facilitating the student's achievement of English proficiency and the academic standards under § 4.12 (relating to academic standards). Programs under this section shall include appropriate bilingual-bicultural or English as a second language (ESL) instruction."

To comply with this requirement, the Bald Eagle Area School District will provide the student with a planned program of English as a second language instruction (ESL) to facilitate the acquisition of English language skills and provide an instructional program appropriate to the student's developmental and instructional level.

PRINCIPLES OF SECOND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Principle #1: Students need to feel good about themselves and their relationships with others in second language situations. (Rigg & Hudelson,1986)

Putting the principle into practice:

  • Foster friendships among ESL students and their peers/teachers.
  • cooperative learning activities
  • peer buddies
  • Use language skills and cultural knowledge of LEP students as resources in the classroom
  • have students make bilingual dictionaries
  • have students provide information on food, music, dance, games, folktales,etc.
  • have students share personal likes and dislikes.
  • Provide non-threatening learning settings.

Principle #2: Comprehension naturally precedes production during the process of second language development. (Krashen & Terrell, 1983)

Putting the principle into practice:

  • Provide comprehensible input within meaningful contexts
  • Give plenty of opportunities to read good literature that is age appropriate and suitable to students’ proficiency level
  • Allow students to show comprehension/competency non-verbally.
  • If possible, use students’ native language as a means to develop necessary concepts

Principle #3: Second language competency develops most quickly when the learner focuses on accomplishing tasks rather than focusing on the language itself. (Rigg & Terrell, 1983)

Putting the principle into practice:

  • Give chances for students to work on group assignments
  • Begin with concrete experiences
  • Focus on purposeful context-related activities

Principle #4: Students can learn to read and write in a second language while they develop their oral skills. (Rigg & Hudelson, 1986)

Putting the principle into practice:

  • Use the language experience approach
  • Provide meaningful writing opportunities
  • Teach note taking skills
  • Make authentic reading resources available
  • Involve students in journal writing

Principle #5: Learners acquire a second language through trial and error; mistakes are part of the natural process. (Rigg & Hudelson, 1986, Krashen & Terrell, 1983)

Putting the principle into practice:

  • Focus on what students communicate rather than on how they communicate
  • Don’t correct students’ mistakes all the time
  • Use students’ errors as an indicator of their progress in developing second language skills

References:Krashen S. & Terrell, Tracy. 1983. The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom. Hayward, CA: Alemany Press.

Rigg, P. & Hudelson, S. 1986. One child doesn’t speak English. Australian Journal of Reading. 9, 3, pp.116-125.

Bald Eagle Area School District Limited English Proficiency Program Policy