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English as a Second Language

Today's multicultural society presents innumerable challenges to every facet of our daily lives. The West New York School District has implemented and continues to refine an English as a Second Language Program to conquer the different language barriers that can become difficult obstacles for the various ethnic groups in our community. Through our intensive ESL Program, students learn to speak, read, and write the language of their new country, and they also learn the intricacies of the American culture and the American way of life.

Who is eligible for the English as a Second Language program?

Any student who demonstrates no skills and/or limited abilities in the English language is eligible to participate.

How are children selected for ESL?

A state approved language assessment is used to identify whether a child needs ESL services. The schools' bilingual facilitators interview and test each student upon registration into the district. According to the student's proficiency level, he/she will receive the services needed.

How much time will my child spend in the ESL program?

ESL instruction is provided for 40 minutes. ELL students receive an additional 40 minutes of English at the high school level. An additional ESL period is given to the students in grades K-6 through the Basic Skills Program.

Are parents involved in the program?

ESL teachers meet the parents at the commencement of the school year during "Open House" or Parents' Night. Parents receive progress reports and report cards throughout the year. Parent/Teacher conferences are always available upon request.

How many children are in an ESL class?

Our district makes every effort to maintain the optimum teacher/student ratio in every ESL classroom.

How are students grouped in ESL classes?

In grades K-8, students are usually grouped according to their age and English proficiency. At the high school level, ESL students are usually grouped according to their English proficiency.

What will my child be taught?

Our district's ESL Program addresses the four basic skills in English: listening, speaking, reading and writing. These skills are introduced and reinforced throughout the year in order to increase the language proficiency and standardized test-taking skills of each student to help him/her meet the state's academic standards.

Who teaches children in ESL?

Highly qualified teachers who hold elementary and/or secondary education and ESL certificates teach ELL students.

Will the ESL teacher speak my child's primary language?

Due to the ethnic and language diversity in our district, it would be impossible to have highly qualified educators who speak every language represented in our schools. However, there are many certified bilingual and trilingual teachers who service our ELL population.

How long will my child attend ESL classes?

The duration of a student receiving ESL services depends on a multiple criteria: a pre/post language assessment, teacher recommendation and academic achievement.

Will the emphasis on English cause my child to forget his native tongue?

Although ELL students are taught and motivated to learn the new English language and American culture, they are also encouraged to remember and value their native language and ethnicity.

How can I get more information?

To obtain more information about the English as a Second Language Program, you may contact the District Bilingual/ESL Supervisors, Ms. Yvette Miranda (Grades K-6) and Ms. Maddy Miqueli (Grades 7-12).