The English language learner (ELL) program has been at Cleveland Elementary since 1979. The ELL teachers provide a pullout program with small groups of children classified according to their language abilities.
Language abilities are assessed by using the IPT Oral Language Test. Non-English speakers and limited English speakers qualify for our program. Fluent english speakers do not qualify for our program, but instead are encouraged to attend their neighborhood school.
The ELL program at Cleveland uses Rigby’s On Our Way to English ELL Curriculum. The ELL students not only learn to speak English, but they are also exposed to science and social studies concepts as they are learning to read and write in English.
Newcomers receive two 40-minute ELL group sessions; one session designed to work on basic conversational skills and the second session aimed at content area with oral, reading and writing skills. All other ELL students receive at least one 40-minute group time. The most advanced students may receive tutoring with an ELL associate.
In order to enhance the speed of second language acquisition, ELL students are mainstreamed in their homeroom with age level peers for the remainder of the day when they are not in ELL.
As the year progresses ELL students are expected to attempt more and more academic assignments, working at their “extending level” (just beyond their current language capabilities), and participate in all cooperative learning situations.
Our classroom teachers modify assignments to accommodate those ELL students who are not yet at the mastery level of oral English.
One of the most unique aspects of our program is the diversity of the ELL students; they come from 12 different countries and speak 15 different languages. This year our ELL enrollment is around 40 students in grades K-5. We have one ELL associate staff as well as one full-time ELL teacher.