The English as a Second Language Program

Early Childhood:
Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten both receive whole class ESL lessons. Pre-K is split into two age levels for separate ESL lessons. The classroom teachers and Ms. Bijak work closely together to assess the students' language needs and to plan the ESL lessons. For example, students will work on learning vocabulary to support the current Unit of Inquiry. These lessons focus primarily on speaking and listening skills. All early childhood students will receive ESL comments on the report card each trimester.

Grades 1-5:

Students routinely receive a wide range of diagnostic assessments in reading, writing, spelling and oral comprehension. The core teacher and ESL teacher review these results and the student's performance in the classroom to help make decisions about necessary ESL support. New ESL students receive individual or small group lessons during the school day to learn basic language skills. These “pull-out” lessons occur during language arts class periods. Ms. Lundin is also available to “push-in” to Unit of Inquiry lessons when students need assistance in order to complete their work. In some grades, the core teacher and ESL teacher may decide to divide the class into differentiated reading or writing groups and team teach language arts lessons. Students who receive regular support throughout the trimester will receive an ESL comment on the report card. It is possible that students learning English as a Second Language might not need extra support, or that a student will only need support for one or two trimesters during the year. Parents are welcome to discuss these decisions with the core teacher and ESL teacher.

Language use in the classroom:

Students are expected to speak English in class to the best of their abilities. If another student in the class speaks the same mother tongue language, he or she may help translate if the teacher gives permission or asks the student to help. Students are expected to ask for help if they do not understand how to participate or complete their work.

Mother Tongue Language at WIS:

During our extracurricular activities, our school offers mother tongue language lessons for Polish and Korean students free of charge starting from Grade 1. Forms are sent home for students to sign up each trimester. If any parents would like to organize or teach other mother tongue language lessons during this time, please contact Ms. Lundin. We would love to offer more learning opportunities.
Our school highly encourages families to support the students' mother tongue language as much as possible. Studies show that students who continue to learn their home languages are better able to develop their additional languages and deepen their understanding in all other subjects areas. We view the diversity of languages in our school as a positive aspect, and students are allowed to speak any language they choose during recess and lunch. At the same time, students are encouraged to avoid excluding others who don't speak their language in certain social situations.