ESL Class Syllabus
ESL Services Syllabus – Jackson Local Schools
Course Description: This is a multi-leveled class of students will varying English proficiencies. It is designed to allow students to grow in their English skills at a pace that best fits their learning style and needs. The structure and direction of the class varies year to year depending on the students needs and the needs of our school district.
Goal: To facilitate the English development and mastery of our district's ESL learners through direct instruction, collaboration with content teachers and communication with parents.
Achievement: ESL students in our district are required by the state of Ohio to demonstrate progress in each of the four domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. Our plan for building to this achievement is contained in this syllabus.
Classroom Setting: Research in the field of Second language learners conclude that learners learn best from highly qualified teachers and from their Second language peers. We strive to provide a setting that is centered around these concepts. Students who are capable and show a desire and preference to learn in their content classroom are encouraged to do so. ESL teachers manage their progress by reviewing grades, communicating with teachers, and sending updates to parents and family members. Students who need more direct language instruction and and are more comfortable in this setting will receive direct instruction from district ESL teachers.
The realities of our student population and staff size make it impossible for our ESL teachers to spend the entire day in one building. To help balance this, our ESL teachers communicate with content teachers, monitor student progress using online tools, and conferences with students should a concern arise.
Focus: The focus of our coursework is largely driven by the needs and concerns of students' mainstream classes. We understand that the primary focus of our students is their content class coursework. We as ESL professionals understand the potential stress and anxiety that may come from feelings of confusion and multiple assignments. To guard students from feeling this way, we make their assignments, projects, and assessments in their classes the primary focus of our class time. In the process of completing tasks, we embed our focused Second language instruction. We will use material and content from the mainstream class to make teaching points in grammar. This content will also be the basis for our reading and listening instruction.
Skills: ESL students work to develop their skills in vocabulary and grammatical knowledge so they will be able to successfully communicate. Also, students will develop literary and analytical skills, which will support their learning in all content areas. It is the research-informed opinion of our district that this learning is just as valid in a self-contained ESL classroom or in the student's content classroom. If a student prefers one setting over another, we make every effort to accommodate this student wishes. A brief description of each of the four domains can be seen below.
Listening: Students will listen to English from native speakers; their teachers and other media sources (news broadcasts, lectures, social conversation). They will also gain great exposure to English by listening to their friends. The focus of these listening activities is on understanding the message in order to produce an appropriate and useful response.
Speaking: Students will practice speaking by conversing with one another, responding to questions, and offering comments on what they hear. Small group projects in content classes will give students opportunities to practice oral communication skill and showcase newly acquired skills.
Reading: Students will be reading a variety of modified texts, including short stories, poetry, and expository writing. In both ESL and content classes, teachers will make efforts to support language learners through the use of peer buddies. As part of their reading development, students will be learning strategies to help them comprehend second language texts. Students will learn to use skills to help them interpret both fiction and non-fiction texts.
Writing: Students will write daily. Students in content classes may receive mini-lessons on grammar to support their understanding of grammatical structures identification and function. They will write on a variety of topics: personal narratives, descriptions, reports, poems, and reflections based on the literature. They will also have the opportunity to create their own works of creative fiction.
Technology: Students will be using a variety of media resources in their classes to support and enhance their learning experience (iPads, computers, audio, and video files).