At Linden High School all English Language Learners have the opportunity to take one of five levels of instruction, all of which are aligned with the WIDA standards. Each ESL course meets for two consecutive periods each day for a minimum of 104 minutes of contact time. One period of instruction focuses on contemporary themes, which are directly linked to content area studies; the other period addresses intensive literacy skills.
The ESL curriculum has been fully aligned to the WIDA standards. It has been revised through reflective collaboration among the ESL and content area teachers. Authentic materials are widely used, incorporating a vast array of materials ranging from maps to music. In addition, at the secondary level, reading skills are of paramount importance, and authentic texts (both Informational and Literal) are frequently used to provide our ELLs with comprehensible input that is meaningful, relevant, and grounded in the target language and culture.
At all levels, teachers employ formative assessments to gauge student progress in their language acquisition. The results of these assessments are shared with students so they may monitor their own progress toward reaching the standards.
Three part-time bilingual paraprofessionals provide classroom support in various content-area mainstream classrooms. These instructional aides assist those students whose native language Haitian Creole, Polish, and Spanish and might not yet have the cognitive academic language proficiency to perform well without additional assistance.
In addition to the 104-minute block of ESL instruction, our ELLs have the opportunity to take a variety of SIOP-aligned courses ranging from World History to Chemistry I to Discrete Mathematics. A content-area certified instructor who has been trained in SIOP strategies is present in these classrooms, providing a language-rich environment that challenges our students to perform at level.
Beyond these courses, which are open to mainstream students, there are four special ELL-only sections run each year to prepare our students for the rigors of meeting the standardized testing expectations of all our graduates. For both the 11th and 12th grade students, we provide one Language Arts and one Mathematics course that addresses the particular language needs of our students. Each of these courses meets for one 52-minute period.8