Facilitating a Welcoming Environment and Equitable Access for English Language Learners
How do ULIS practices reflect its commitment to ESOL families?
ULIS is committed to creating a connected learning community that sees strength in diversity. Ensuring voice and visibility for all, including for English language learners, is an integral part of realizing this vision. Some ULIS practices that allow English language learners and their families to see themselves reflected throughout the school include commitment to selecting a diverse student population, intentional parent engagement, and recruitment of multilingual faculty and staff. Development of the ESOL program is another example of the school’s commitment to creating a welcoming, inclusive environment for all languages and cultures represented at ULIS.
How are English language learner needs initially determined?
What happens next? During the Admissions process, students with English language learner (ELL) needs are identified, and the level of language support needed is determined. Content-area teachers and ESOL teachers then create plans for meeting the varying English language needs of students across all three divisions – elementary, middle and high school.
What does English language learner support look like during the school day?
The support offered to students depends on the extent of their English language needs. Many ELL students may have solid social English but need help improving their academic English proficiency levels. These students benefit from scaffolded, differentiated classroom support that makes the academic content of lessons accessible to them. When planning scaffolded instruction for any English language learner, the technological tools available at ULIS allow teachers to not only differentiate but also individualize lessons, based on student needs. Other students need intensive support to develop not only the social English that allows them to connect more easily to their school community, but also the academic English needed to access rigorous class content. These students receive English language instruction and support beyond what is provided in content-area classes throughout the school day.