Bilingual and English-as-a-Second Language
We believe that, like all others, our linguistically diverse students are intelligent children who possess a wealth of information, knowledge and talent. We believe that our role is to build on these talents and intelligences, to broaden their base of knowledge, to hone their skills, to perfect their understanding of concepts, and to assure their future success. We are mediators between our children’s past and their future.* As such we must never discount all that our children bring with them to school, including their language and their culture.
We believe that the quality of the relationships within the learning community (between educators and students, educators and their students’ families, and among all students) helps determine the extent of engagement of students in school.
We believe that English Language Learners (ELL’s) should be given the opportunity to realize grade-level appropriate studies of mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts and, at the same time, acquire the English-language skills necessary to study these content areas in English.
Our goals, therefore, are to help students:
- succeed in school
- feel respected and honored
- feel that they belong
- learn English correctly
- apply and transfer their prior knowledge to concepts taught in English
- study the same concepts and skills as their English-speaking counterparts
- gain skills and understandings that will help students learn in the future
Our programs, therefore, include:
- content area (math, science, social studies) instruction that meets or exceeds grade-level standards
- opportunities to learn with their peers
- instruction in the student’s home language and in English
- instruction in the history and culture of the United States and of their or their parent’s country of origin
Our teachers, therefore, are:
- curriculum developers
- involved in professional growth
- linguistically proficient
- excellent teachers of language
- able to differentiate their instruction
* Jim Cummins, Keynote Address, NABE, February 2001