The Elizabeth Public Schools
Over 75% of the students who attend the Elizabeth Public Schools have a native or home language other than English. The general student population represents more than thirty language classifications and over 80 countries. The Elizabeth school district’s Bilingual/ESL Program is designed to meet the both academic and social/emotional needs of the multilingual/multicultural student body in grades Pre-K-12.
The goals of the Elizabeth Bilingual/ESL Program are as follows:
- Create excellence in academics by providing and ensuring equal educational opportunities for English language learners through the use of research-based, best practices and the delivery of instruction that meets the needs of all students.
- Boost students’ performance by providing intensive instruction in the listening, speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension of English to cultivate strong academic language and skills.
- Enhancing our district’s culture by celebrating and appreciating the linguistic and cultural diversity of our district’s population.
- Strengthen our learning community by orienting and involving parents.
The Elizabeth Public Schools offers a Bilingual/ESL program in all K-8 and 9-12 schools. In addition, the early childhood centers, Frances C. Smith No. 50, Donald Stewart No. 51 and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. No. 52 have adopted a Dual Language approach to early childhood education. Each center accommodates 300 three and four-year-old students. Students have the opportunity to develop, maintain, and strengthen their heritage, language and culture through the use of two languages.
The Bilingual/ESL Program’s objectives are to:
- Deliver rigorous, grade level instruction in the native language while providing second language instruction in English
- Ensure that mainstream curriculum is accessible to English language learners.
- Obtain knowledge & skills in first language, in order to transfer that skill set to a second language (English): The stronger academic instruction in the native language (L1), the stronger academic English (L2). (Thomas and Collier). The Bilingual/ESL program is comprised of a bilingual component where students receive instruction in the native language (L1) so that they do not fall behind academically in content areas. In addition, there is an ESL component, which focuses on the Development of Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP). Students acquire the English language in the domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing through the social and instructional language, the language of language arts, the language of mathematics, the language of science and the language of social studies. All students who receive bilingual services also receive ESL instruction.
There are various Bilingual/ESL Program Types within the district:
- Full Time Bilingual
- Part Time Bilingual
- ESL Sheltered Instruction
- Advanced Bilingual
English language learners (ELLs) are instructed using the bilingual and ESL curricula, which provides a framework for education that values cultural diversity and is portrayed both socially and academically in a positive manner. The curricula also facilitate the development of the English language through the four domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Furthermore, the curricula support an environment for students to think and question, communicate and create, and enjoy the process of learning academic content
All ELLs are assessed annually with the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State (ACCESS), or WIDA Screener to assess English language proficiency. Achievement in mathematics, reading, and other subjects are measured with the district benchmark assessments and the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments.
A salient feature of the Bilingual/ESL program is the active and positive involvement of the Bilingual/ESL Parental Advisory Committee (BEPAC) and its commitment to fostering and embracing our diversity. The annual celebration of Bilingual/Multicultural Education month provides our schools the opportunity to celebrate, honor and showcase various cultures and traditions from around the world.
In all, We believe ALL students can learn and achieve at high levels regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, neighborhood, household income or home language. We will narrow the achievement gaps of students by providing a high-quality education to ensure that ALL of our students are college and career ready.
For additional information, please call:
Mrs. Sandra Nunes, Director of Bilingual & ESL Education at (908) 436-5340
Mrs. Maria Triana-Gonzalez, Supervisor of Bilingual & ESL Education K-5 at (908) 436-5301
Mrs. Rebecca S. Orellana, Supervisor of Bilingual & ESL Education 6-12 at (908) 436-5352
Mrs. Ileana Mena Supervisor of World Languages at (908) 436-5341.
Elizabeth Public Schools offers bilingual and / or ESL services in all of our schools. Our Bilingual/ESL program is available for all English Language Learners from grades Kindergarten to 12. The program provides instruction in listening, speaking, reading, writing and comprehension of the English language and content area instruction in the native language. All content area subjects, as required by law, are included in the curriculum and form an integral part of the daily instruction provided to students according to their English language level and grade level.
Bilingual and ESL Curricular Framework:
(based on the NJDOE Curricular Framework)