World Language & ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages)
With great enthusiasm and highest expectations,
THE STRATFORD PUBLIC SCHOOLS WORLD LANGUAGE/ESOL DEPARTMENT
Welcomes you to our K-12 District Programs and Classes!
We are very pleased to offer the rewards of world language study as part of each child's comprehensive education. Every student has the opportunity to benefit from a wide variety of individual study areas, which combine to contribute to a lifetime of intellectual growth, productivity, satisfaction, prosperity, and well-being.
Why study world and classical languages?
"World language instruction should be a part of every child’s education…it is a culture, a way of thinking…a perspective on the world… a language opens the mind to new possibilities...language is the study of life, literature, history, and thought…it is nothing less than the study of our world and ourselves."
Former Secretary of Education, Ron Paige
Research has shown that foreign language study:
• Enhances cognitive development, creativity, higher order thinking skills and academic achievement.
• Strengthens first language proficiency and improves memory, listening, and all communicative skills.
• Engenders positive attitudes toward linguistic and cultural diversity.
• Improves standardized test scores and casts favorable light on college admissions.
• Expands career opportunities in today's competitive, global, and increasingly technological society.
• Prepares students for success in our ever-evolving workplace where 21st Century skills are essential.
How do we accomplish all of this?
By combining the 5 C's of World Language study:
• Communication - Culture - Connections - Comparisons - Communities
With the 7 Cs of 21st Century Learning:
• Collection of Information - Collaboration - Communication - Creativity - Critical Thinking - Character - College and Career Preparation
And aligning to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, which focus upon:
• The four modalities of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
• The three modes of communication – interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational.
• A balanced use of literary and informational texts.
• Writing to explain, persuade, and convey.
• Ensuring that all students are college-, career-, and world-ready.
How can we accomplish all this?
By being adventurous, attentive, communicative, cooperative, creative, expressive, industrious, inquisitive, meticulous, perceptive, reflective, respectful, sensitive, technological, tolerant, welcoming…
World language study challenges the mind, spirit, and body simultaneously as it reveals new worlds!
Our secondary curriculum offers sequential courses in Spanish, French, and Latin.
French and Spanish represent the 2nd and 3rd most influential modern languages in the world after English.
Latin is their ever-present foundation stone and source of abundant cognates and linguistic treasure.
- Course levels typically run 1-5 AP/ECE with Honors credit in Spanish 2-3-4, French 2-3-4, & Latin 2-3-4.
- Middle school French or Spanish students may register for level 2 courses in 9th grade or elect Latin 1.
- Students wishing to learn a language not available here may apply to a program affiliated with Yale University.
- All courses feature modern texts with ample supporting instructional and technological resources.
English Language Learners (ELLs) receive specialized English literacy instructional support from ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers/tutors in mainstream and resource classes where they receive individual/small group assistance and guidance. At SHS, sheltered English & Am. History courses are taught.
For a complete description of course offerings, please access our district's web site.
"Because the study of language and culture is inextricably intertwined, students of language and culture are better equipped to communicate with people in other cultures in a variety of settings, to look beyond their customary borders, and to act with greater awareness of self, of other cultures, and their own relationship to those cultures."
The Stratford Public Schools
Guide to the ESOL Program
Introduction and Goal:
The Stratford School District is pleased to offer ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) support and services to its growing ELL (English Language Learner) student population in Grades K-12. Stratford ELLs represent a diverse linguistic and cultural community from many origins e.g. Hispanic, Polish, Slovakian, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Syrian, Pakistani, Filipino, African, Cambodian, Chinese, Turkish, Haitian and others. Since the language of instruction is English, the goal of the ESOL program is to provide ELLs with specialized instructional strategies and resources designed to develop their English literacy, verbal, and numeracy skills. This support will help them to compete academically and participate fully and meaningfully in English-speaking mainstream classes.
Language Identification Process:
Students are identified as ELLs when their Home Language Survey indicates that their native language predominates at home and scoring results from the LAS-Links testing battery reveal limited English literacy skill levels in some or all four modalities – speaking, listening, reading and writing. Many ELLs develop casual or “street” verbal and listening skills (BICS) quickly as they begin to communicate with English speakers at school and in the community but their respective “academic” reading and writing skill levels (CALP), which are critical to successful comprehension of challenging classroom content areas, often lag well behind. Simply stated, their verbal prowess can easily mask other linguistic deficiencies so one must guard against assuming that based upon verbal interchange only, an ELL is fully capable to meet academic classroom challenges. To be sure, ESOL staff interview and assess ELLs, consult their records, contact their parents and guardians as necessary, and collaborate with faculty and administrators to determine the appropriate instructional support.
Instructional Support Models:
In general, ESOL support is structured in traditional models and executed in complete cooperation with the classroom teacher: the “push-in” wherein ESOL staff accompany ELLs in mainstream classes, and the “pull-out” wherein ESOL staff take ELLs from the classroom temporarily to another location for prescribed support. Other specialized strategies are also carefully applied as staff attempt to provide small group and individualized instruction as often as needed to support academic growth and success in the classroom and preparation for standardized testing. At the secondary level, ELLs actually take “sheltered” courses in ESOL English and American History, which use strategies to teach content in ways that are comprehensible to students and promote their English language development. ELLs also attend resource classes in which guidance and specific help in content areas are provided as well. ESOL staff also offer “push-in” support in other mainstream course areas such as math, science etc. and collaborate regularly with teachers, administrators, and guidance staff. In all instances, ESOL staff seeks to facilitate measurable growth in English literacy skills and academic performance.