The mission of Johnston County's English as a Second Language Program is to assure that all speakers of other languages who score below proficient of the WIDA initial placement test attain high levels of proficiency in English and achieve high academic standards according to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. We are dedicated to serving the needs of our English Language Learners (ELLs) by providing them with access to an excellent education.
The English as a Second Language Program provides the following services:
Identify Limited English Proficient students based on the WIDA initial placement test when they enter the school system;
- Provide instructional services depending on the proficiency level of our students: inclusion, pull-out, or consultative;
- Monitor academic achievement of essential knowledge and skills;
- Provide professional development for our ESL teachers, mainstream teachers, and paraprofessionals;
- Promote parent involvement.
ESL Instruction is effective when curriculum is based upon grade level content and instruction that is designed for the English proficiency level of the learner. A variety of materials are available for teachers including ESL textbooks, textbook ancilliaries for LEP students, language and content development software, and supplemental materials.
Entering, Emerging, and Developing proficient LEP students receive daily "pullout" instruction of language development that is based on grade-level concepts. The use of controlled vocabulary selected from essential curriculum ensures that students learn as much grade level information as possible.
The limitations of ESL Pullout services are most apparent for higher proficient LEP students who have a good grasp of English proficiency, but have not yet caught up with the academic language proficiency of their peers. Standards are high and much of the NC Standard Course of Study spirals and builds upon easier learning. The Johnston County Schools support SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) as a strategy for content teachers to better meet the needs of LEP students within the regular class.
When possible, ESL and mainstream teachers plan together and co-teach in an Inclusion setting. In this way, it is possible to increase the capacity of both teachers to meet the needs of LEP students by the ESL teacher modeling appropriately-modified instruction and the mainstream teacher modeling grade-level skills and content instruction. Both teachers experience real-time, ongoing staff development while providing effective instruction for the entire group of students.
The language of instruction is English. Instruction and assessment are based upon the goals and standards of the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards for Pre K-12 Students.
ESL teachers do not necessarily speak the native language of the students although it is useful for communicating with parents and occasionally explaining content. (Almost all of the ESL staff have acquired proficiency in a second language, most in Spanish.) ESL teachers may explain a certain procedure or concept to students in their native language, especially in ESL Class. However, the process of learning a second language requires that learning tasks be processed in the target language, English. ESL teachers are qualified and trained in research-based techniques of teaching English as a Second Language.
Peer interaction is an important aspect of language acquisition, cooperative learning, peer tutoring, and other research-based social instructional methods that involve the LEP students are employed. Whole language techniques are effective ways to make instruction meaningful for all students. The use of visuals, gestures, drama, videos, cassettes, graphic organizers, modeling and demonstration assessment provide contextual clues for the LEP student. Teachers are encouraged to use various strategies that recognize the value of the languages and cultures represented in the classroom, such as allowing Hispanic students to share the Spanish translation of words and concepts.
Federal funds are provided to schools each year for eligible migrant students. Eligible migrants move to Johnston County to find temporary/seasonal farm work, including planting, harvesting, and packing sweet potatoes and tobacco and harvesting row crops. This migratory work force helps sustain a profitable farming business by providing inexpensive yet productive labor.
Students are selected for Priority for Services (PFS) based upon the date of the most recent qualifying move to Johnston County, academic performance, English language proficiency and school attendance. In addition, the responses on various needs assessments completed by MEP staff, Migrant/ESL teachers, and mainstream teachers provide useful information for selecting students who do not meet the PFS criteria.
The MEP design is adjusted each year in accordance with program evaluation including feedback from parents, students, Migrant/ESL staff, mainstream educators, administrators and the availability of collaborative support.
The instructional program is orchestrated by two certified MEP Advocates and MEP Tutors. Services are tailored to the needs of individual students in the particular school setting. Migrant Advocates and tutors provide additional services in the school's "pyramid of interventions" for students. Services are tailored to individual and include tutoring, brokering tutoring services by teachers, conferencing with teachers and parents, and collaborating with school Counselors and high school Student Advocates.
One primary goal of the MEP Advocates is to establish relationships with high school staff in order to focus attention on migrant students and what the students need in order to obtain all graduation requirements in a timely manner. Specific services include monitoring credit accrual, collaborating with content teachers to provide instructional support, conferencing with students and parents, and coordinating after-school tutoring and transportation.
The MEP Advocates also supervise MEP Tutors who are scheduled in schools according to the distribution of Migrant students who are identified for Priority for Service. Other criteria for school selection include the number of migrant students at each school, the number of migrant students who are at-risk of failing state and local standards, the incidence of migrant student drop-out, School Improvement status, and School Improvement watch list status.
MEP Tutors work in conjunction with teachers, administrators, and after-school program coordinators to provide extra academic support to selected migrant students before, during, and after school hours. The interventions are carefully planned so that the instructional schedule is minimally disrupted.
MEP funds are also available for "specialized tutoring" provided by classroom teachers outside of school hours. Limited funds are also available for transportation. These services will be coordinated by the MEP Advocates and Tutors.
The MEP Advocates and the MEP Tutors meet regularly to develop concise program goals and evaluate effectiveness of program services. This planning time decreases as services become established and the tutors are thoroughly trained.
919-934-1017 ext. 4022