The mission of the BHS ESL Department is to empower English Language Learners with the skills, confidence, and knowledge to equip them for any challenges they may encounter through an intensive, comprehensive, and structured program. The BHS ESL Department's program is committed to educational excellence and continuous achievement for all English Language Learners while also creating an appreciation of different cultures through multiple learning opportunities.
HOW THE MISSION IS ACCOMPLISHED
The BHS ESL Department has two modes of instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs).
Limited English Skills
For those with very limited English skills (known as beginners and intermediates), the department provides the newcomer program. The newcomer program consists of one paraprofessional and one teacher. The paraprofessional travels to the subject courses, such as math and science, to provide extra support to the ELL students. The paraprofessional will monitor students, modify the assignments to the level of the student's comprehension, and will clarify the materials per the student's needs.
In addition to the paraprofessional, the students meet with the ESL teacher for two-to-three class periods during the day. The first is a beginner English course titled ESOL I. In this class, students learn basic English, grammar, how to take notes, how to communicate effectively, classroom rules and expectations, cultural differences and similarities, as well as the necessary skills needed to succeed in future English classes, such as literature analysis. In addition to this, the beginner ELLs, or newcomers, meet for one class period to work on reading comprehension in the course titled RDG I. This class is designed to enhance the student's reading comprehension skills. However, students in this class also learn valuable writing skills for various situations in the classroom and the real world.
If the student is needing an English I or English II credit, they will attend a third class with the ESL teacher to receive that instruction through a bridged course, meaning that information is broken down into understandable units for students.
Intermediate English Skills
Some students arrive in America having some English skills; enough to communicate, but not always enough to understand everything in their classes. For these students, the department offers the content-based program. In this program, student schedules are constructed between student and the ESL department to place the student in classes with other ELLs to help build community as well as with teachers best practiced in working with ELL students. These teachers work with the ESL department to provide quality instruction with personalized modifications for each student to help each develop necessary English skills.