High School English Learners

MCSD strives to provide our high school ELs with the learning experiences needed for life-long learning as well as to prepare them for future education and career options. The CDE Office of Cultural and Linguistic Diversity offers us the following guidance (2018):

1. There is reasonable concern about students taking too long to complete school. Many studies show that the older students are the greater likelihood they will drop out. However, such research has never been conducted on ELs. One major reason that attrition is high in this group is that relevant, credit-bearing courses are often not provided for them, making dropping out a reasonable response to a dead-end curriculum. A longer time allowed for high school with intense initial diagnostic assessment, individual counseling and monitoring, and opportunities for internships and career and community engagement, may be exactly what many long- term ELs need. Further, there is no statutory basis for removing a student (up to age 21) from high school, as long as she/he is making progress toward graduation.

2. As outlined in the Colorado Department of Education’s strategic plan, we need to prepare students to thrive in their education and in a globally competitive workforce. Greater opportunity for college should be made available to all. However, school should a afford learning experiences and coursework that lead to competence in the fields needed for productive roles as citizen, worker and life-long learner, and provide multiple pathways and options for students who choose non-college options as well as for those bound for higher degrees. Schools also must acknowledge that many students feel pressured to work and help their families. Schools that offer opportunities to enhance job options (may be part of a longer term plan for postsecondary education) are more likely to hold students.

Following our Instructional Delivery Plan Model, our ELD Specialists coteach content area classes as well as offer the following instructional programming for our learners.

Students new to the country and non-English proficient learners:

This class is designed for Non-English Proficient learners that are new to the country or need intensive English language development. Offered by the ELD Specialist, this delivery model accelerates the acquisition of English language skills as well as orients the student to the US.

Limited English proficient learners:

The learning needs of this population include social English, academic English, and accessibility to grade level content. To meet the needs of these students, we offer courses specifically designed to accelerate English language development. We analyze data to determine the specific English language needs of our learners and place them in the appropriate classes.

Content Area Support for Academics: This class is designed for low Limited English Proficient students. The ELD Specialist teaches this course which focuses on academic vocabulary, language forms and conventions and linguistic complexity in the domains of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This course is designed to be taken in tandem with the general ed science and social studies courses . The EL learner is taught the language of science and social studies; specifically academic vocabulary, language forms and conventions and components of linguistic complexity.

Sheltered Instruction English Language Arts: This is an English Language Arts class offered to all students as a supplement to the regular English course offering. Students are taught the district ELA curriculum in a differentiated format that meets the unique needs of the learners.

Checklist for ELs New to High School

Secondary EL Educational History Checklist