The goal of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program is to help the students with limited or no English proficiency learn enough English to function linguistically and culturally in the St. Mary’s County Public School System and in American society. In addition, the ESOL program emphasizes and focuses on helping the English Language Learner (ELL) learn English for effective participation in other classes. The education of the ELL is a collaborative responsibility that should involve the ESOL teacher, the classroom teacher, and other appropriate staff depending on student needs, the student, and the parents.
The ESOL Program utilizes an integrated approach to teaching the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. These four skills are, to some extent incorporated in each lesson. The ESOL program aligns its instructional planning and practice with the Maryland English Language Proficiency State Curriculum that supports the Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAO) in progress and language attainment of English language proficiency.
The ESOL program also encourages and provides staff development opportunities so that all teachers can learn specific instructional strategies and effective standard practices for teaching the English Language Learner.
The ESOL program uses primarily a pull-out model which makes it possible for teachers to meet with students in small groups. The teachers meet with students throughout the week and services are based upon the student’s grade and level of proficiency in English. The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) was implemented in 2008 as a push in or “sheltering” model for providing services to English Language Learners whose proficiency level in English is at an Intermediate or Advanced level. With this model, the ESOL teacher is able to plan and to team teach with the content teacher. Daily ESOL classes are offered at the high school level. The ESOL class is an English elective and does not substitute for one of the required English classes.