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English Language Learners

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Program Description: High Intensity ESL

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“English as a second language (ESL) program” means a daily developmental second-language program based on student language proficiency that teaches aural comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing in English using second language teaching techniques, and incorporates the cultural aspects of the students' experiences in their ESL instruction. High-Intensity ESL is the district’s current instructional model approved by The New Jersey Department of Education for educating English language learners. 

  • For districts with 20 or more ELLs of a single language group
  • District must have received a bilingual education waiver for this program type from the NJDOE
  • ELLs need to be provided at least two periods of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)
  • One period is the standard ESL class, and the other period is an ESL tutorial or ESL reading class
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs

Pre-kindergarten students learn the English language through immersion. In order to support this process, teachers label the classroom in multiple languages, reflective of the students. Visual mediators are used throughout the day to guide instruction and provide directions. When possible, students will be placed in classrooms where their home language may be spoken when the opportunity exists. The district provides our preschool teachers with professional development regarding strategies for teaching language learners. These strategies include, but are not limited to the following: using visuals during explanations, modifying tasks based on students’ profiles, and incorporating hand gestures, regalia or manipulatives to support verbal and/or text-based activities.

Elementary English Learners receive 40 minutes of ESL instruction everyday by a certified ESL teacher. Students meet in small groups through a pullout model. The ESL teacher works in collaboration with the grade-level team to ensure that the instruction provided in the pullout class is matched to the grade-level curricula. Elementary students are also offered a second period of ESL instruction in alignment with district's bilingual waiver. When teaching, teachers plan with two sets of standards in mind: The New Jersey Student Learning Standards and WIDA Standards. The four domains of language, speaking, reading, writing and listening, are addressed during instruction.

Middle School English Learners receive 54 minutes of ESL instruction everyday by a certified ESL teacher. While high school students receive, 84 minutes of instruction following the high school's block (A/B) schedule. In addition, students also receive a second period of high-intensity ESL that focuses on language support in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Our ESL teachers work in collaboration with grade-level teams to ensure that the instruction provided in our ESL pullout classes match the grade-level curricula. The New Jersey Student Learning Standards and WIDA Standards are the foundation of the teaching and lessons focus on the four domains of language acquisition, which are speaking, reading, writing and listening.

English Language Teachers

Lowell Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. J. Cortez

Hawthorne Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. J. Cortez

Whittier Elementary School
Teacher: Ms. D. Sanchez

Thomas Jefferson Middle School & Benjamin Franklin Middle School
Teacher: Mr. J. Murphy

Teaneck High School
Teacher: Ms. A. Lagomarsino
Director of School Innovation, English/Language Arts and ESL 
Ms. Patricia Dent
Phone: 201-862-2321 

Resources for Families

Information about the civil rights of English language Learners and their families.

A bilingual site for educators and families of English Learners.