Office of English Language Learning
ESL (English as a Second Language) is a state-mandated support service provided to help English Language Learners (ELLs) gain the necessary skills needed to be successful in the mainstream classroom. ESL instruction focuses on developing English language proficiency in all four-language skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing, while differentiating instruction with comprehensive input and hands-on, audio-visual, and kinesthetic activities.
Upon enrollment to the Saddle Brook School District, families receive a Home Language Survey (HLS) to begin the identification process. After review of the survey data, ESL teachers and the Director of Curriculum decide if students should proceed to the next phase of evaluation called the Records Review Phase. Multiple measures are used to identify ELLs including oral interviews with family/ students and/or review of available documents (e.g., school records) by teaching staff. This information helps to determine if the student would benefit from ESL support. Identification criteria is based on the scores from the New Jersey-approved WIDA language proficiency assessments, such as WIDA Screener, WIDA MODEL, or W-APT (Kindergarten only) with a composite proficiency level below 4.5.
ESL teachers work closely with students’ classroom and content area teachers to ensure all students’ needs are met. ESL teachers pullout and/or push into the classroom to help ELLs work on language development utilizing the New Jersey Student Learning Standards and the English Language Proficiency Standards in everyday instruction. Daily instruction focuses on different content areas, such as Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, as well as social and instructional language.
Classes meet in small groups each day using ESL methodologies to enhance students’ learning. It is the goal of the ESL program to give our ELLs the opportunity to grasp the academic, social, and cultural aspects of the English language to be successful students and members of the community. We value students’ different ethnic backgrounds and offer opportunities for all students to feel unique and successful. It is our pleasure to service this diverse group of learners! Please contact your student’s ESL teacher if you have any questions or concerns.