Linguistically diverse AACPS students will become bi-literate, globally competent participants in society, post-secondary institutions and the workforce.
The English Language Acquisition program provides asset-based linguistic, academic and socio-emotional support to English learners and their families in order to ensure equitable, appropriate and inclusive educational practices for linguistically diverse AACPS students.
Which students are eligible for the English Language Acquisition program?
The ELA program provides instruction to English Learners in grades K-12. Eligibility for participation in the program is determined by an English language proficiency assessment. Upon registration, a home language survey is administered to determine potential eligibility for ELA services. Any student demonstrating limited English language proficiency on the WIDA Screener Assessment (as required by the Maryland State Department of Education) is eligible for instructional services. ELA instruction is provided at all AACPS schools.
How does the English Language Acquisition program work?
Through an asset-based approach to language, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes foster the development of academic literacy, mathematical competence and social growth among English learners. Instruction in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills supports English learners in obtaining equitable access to grade-level academic curriculum.
Depending on individual school needs, elementary ELA teachers will either meet with students outside the classroom in small groups (pull out) or with students in the regular classroom setting (push in). ELA teachers utlilize the English language development curriculum to provide linguistically-focused instruction through a project-based, integrated content approach.
The middle and high school programs use an integrated language development curriculum including the Language of Language Arts, Language of Science, Language of Mathematics, Social and Instructional Language, and the Language of Social Studies. Students may take specific ESOL courses, and/or receive instruction with an ELA teacher within the regular classroom setting. High School course offerings include ESOL I– V, ESOL Newcomer, ESOL Social Studies 1 and Transitional Math. Middle School course offerings include ESOL Grades 6-8 and ESOL I & II.
Initial placement in ESOL courses is determined by English proficiency scores as measured by the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs Assessment. Subsequent placement is determined by ELA teacher and counselor recommendation, based on credit accumulation and English proficiency testing.
What are the goals of the English Language Acquisition program?
Goal 1: To encourage a system-wide, asset-based approach to language which supports the development of linguistically diverse students as biliterate participants in global society.
Goal 2: To build English language proficiency among elementary English Learners in order to foster the development of academic literacy, mathematical competence and social growth.
Goal 3: To build English language proficiency among middle school English Learners in order to foster the development of academic literacy, mathematical competence and social growth.
Goal 4: To build English language proficiency among high school English Learners in order to ensure all English learners graduate high school with adequate preparation to become globally competent participants in society, post-secondary institutions, and the workforce.
Goal 5: To equip all educators of English learners with the knowledge and skills needed to support their linguistic, academic and social growth.
Goal 6: To create access and opportunity for linguistically diverse families to support their child’s learning in partnership with schools.