The English Language Learner Program in Salem
Options and Descriptions
Elementary / K-8
Dual Language (English/ Spanish) Program, Nathaniel Bowditch School (K-8)
The Dual Language Program at the Nathaniel Bowditch School provides instruction in both English and Spanish for students in grades K-8, with the goal of promoting bilingualism in all students. The content of instruction is guided by the Massachusetts State Frameworks.
At each grade level, two teachers in the program (at least one of whom has proficiency in Spanish) share the students. While both teachers teach grade-level content in English, one teacher is responsible for doing so in Spanish as well.
Students who are English Language Learners also receive support from an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. The number of hours of support provided depends on the proficiency level of the child. Students who are less proficient in English receive more services, and students who are more proficient receive less (as recommended by Massachusetts Department of Education).
English as a Second Language Support, Elementary Schools (K-5 and K-8)
At every K-5 or K-8 school in Salem, there are English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers who provide support to students who are not yet proficient in English. These teachers provide support in all aspects of learning English: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
How that support is given depends upon the specific needs of each student. Sometimes students are pulled from class in small groups to receive extra attention and instruction. Sometimes the ESL teacher also instructs within the classroom, alongside the regular classroom teacher, to make sure that children understand the content and are able to participate actively. Classroom teachers and ESL teachers work together to plan instruction for children and to monitor their progress in English.
Collins Middle School (6-8)
English as a Second Language Support
At the Collins Middle School students who are learning English receive instructional support from an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. These teachers provide support in all aspects of learning English: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
The students are integrated into regular education classes with students who are English speakers, and the ESL teacher works to ensure that students can understand the content and participate in classroom activities. The ESL teacher might modify the reading so that it is at an easier level, for example, or assist students with their writing. Sometimes students are pulled in small groups from the class, for more intensive help. The classroom teacher and the ESL teacher work together to ensure that students access their grade-level subjects (math, science, social studies, etc.) at the same time that they learn English, and to monitor each child’s progress. The content of the instruction is guided by the Massachusetts State Frameworks.
The number of hours of English language support provided depends on the proficiency level of the child. Students who are less proficient in English receive more services, and students who are more proficient receive less (as recommended by Massachusetts Department of Education).
Salem High School (9-12)
English as a Second Language Support
Students at Salem High School who are learning English receive instructional support from an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. These teachers provide support in all aspects of learning English: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
Students have different options depending upon their English proficiency level, as explained below:
This is a class for beginners. Along with spending 2 blocks per day in their ESL I class, learning beginning English skills, students also take classes in Biology, History, Math, and Vocational Skills. In their subject classes, teachers use the Massachusetts state curriculum as their guide. However, the instruction is especially designed for students who are newcomers to English. For Students who need additional support after one year, there is ESL I b.
This is a class for students who are not beginners, but still need significant support in English. Along with 2 blocks per day in their ESL II class with the ESL teacher, students also attend classes in Biology, History, and Math that are taught by a regular teacher of the subject, along with an ESL teacher. The two teachers work together to make sure students are able to understand the instruction and participate actively in class.
This class is for those English language learners who have already made significant progress in English, but still need some support, especially in reading and writing. The ESL III class is only one block long per day, and then students spend time in regular education classes with native speakers of English: math, science, English Language Arts, and history. After completing ESL III, most students are ready to leave the ESL program.
Limited Formal Schooling
Some students enter high school after having only limited schooling, or their school experience may have been interrupted because of personal circumstances. These students need additional support because they have missed much learning. For these students, Salem High has a Limited Formal Schooling class, which is designed to help students with basic literacy (reading and writing) and basic math. In addition, students attend math, biology, history, and vocational classes taught by an English as a Second Language teacher who is trained to help students learn the content they need while they learn English.
Rights of Parents of English Language Learners
Right to decline participation of your child in English Language Learner Program
Parents have the right to decline to have their child participate in the English Language Learner Program. This is called “opting out.” Parents may also choose to remove their children from the program at any time.
Right to request a “waiver” so your child can participate in a bilingual program
Individual parents of English Language Learners may request a waiver, asking that their child be educated in a bilingual program, even if one is not currently available in the school or district. If 20 or more parents of the same language and same grade desire such a program, schools are required to offer it. Information about how to request a waiver is available in the Parent Information Center.
Right to receive information in a language you can understand
Parents have the right to get information about their child’s progress in the classroom and on state tests in a language they can understand.
If you have further questions about the English Language Learner Program, you may call:
English Language Learner Program
978-740-1126 or 978-740-1175
Parent Information Center
Salem Public Schools