ESL Program Description

ESL Program

The Harrisburg School District shall provide an appropriate planned instructional program for identified students whose dominant language is not English. The goal of the ESL Program is to provide English Language Learners (ELLs) with instructional support that will enable them to participate fully in their educational experience in our schools and in their social lives in our community. The objectives of the ESL program are to develop both basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), to develop proficiency in the language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, to develop competence in intercultural interactions, and to encourage participation in the full range of instructional activities in the regular education curriculum and in extracurricular activities in our schools.

The program components ensure each student receives instruction geared towards helping the student achieve the PA academic standards in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and allowing the students the opportunities they need to become proficient in the use of the English language.  The ESL program provided to ELLs will include direct language instruction as well as adaptations to instruction and assessment in all content areas, both of which must be commensurate with the student's level of English proficiency.

Students in the ESL program must be provided with meaningful, comprehensible access to instruction in all content areas required by Pennsylvania academic standards. The PA ELPS (English Language Proficiency Standards) are an overlay to the academic standards and will be incorporated in planned instruction for ELLs by all teachers. Content area instruction will be aligned with the corresponding standards and adapted to meet the needs of the students. Accommodations and modifications provided to the student will be provided by the ESL teacher, which will be collaboratively developed by the ESL teacher and grade level/content teacher(s). Appropriate academic support services will be provided to ELLs within the content courses and may include an ESL teacher or supplemental materials. Common planning time to support instructional planning and evaluation efforts between the ESL teacher and grade level/content-area teachers will be provided. 

ELLs must be graded using the same grading system as all other students. Grading of ELLs must reflect what the students know and are able to do at their level of English language proficiency. The content teacher(s), ESL teacher, school counselor, and principal will monitor all ELLs' progress during the school year to determine if programming changes are necessary.

The linguistic program goal of the ESL program is developing literacy in English using Content-Based ESL as the program model. English instruction is adapted to student’s proficiency level and supplemented by gestures, visual aids, and manipulatives.  This approach of teaching ESL makes use of instructional materials, learning tasks, and classroom techniques from academic content areas as the vehicle for developing language, content, cognitive, and study skills.

BEC Educating English Learners 2017

ESL Classes

At the Elementary Level (K-8th), all ELLs receive English Language instruction in core content classes; Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies using the Collaborative Teaching Model (ESL Push-in). Collaboration occurs in grade level/content classes; both teachers provide individualized direct instruction and identification of students’ strengths and weaknesses in the form of anecdotal records. The ESL teacher reinforces pronunciation, language usage, and decoding and comprehension strategies. ESL certified teachers also provide English Language instruction during core contents, intervention periods, and for Level 1 and 2 ELLs, via curriculum based on the PA ELPS (English Language Proficiency Standards) using the SAS Pre-K-12 Language Arts and Math ELL Overlay.

At the High School level (9-12), all ELLs receive English Language instruction in core content classes. Content area teachers are responsible for modifying and adapting instruction and assessment. Content knowledge skills are taught within the departmentalized classrooms of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies; with an emphasis on vocabulary.  ELLs, Levels 1.0-3.9; Entering through Developing, receive English Language/English Language Arts instruction through a Sheltered English program model using curriculum based on the ESL Instructional Framework 6-12 and Harrisburg School District English Language Arts 9-12. For the purposes of meeting graduation requirements, all ELLs will follow the graduation requirements specifically described in the district strategic plan. Appropriate accommodations may be applied.

 Overlay to ASPIRE Curriculum
 Harrisburg School District ESL Instructional Planning and Assessment Overlay
This overlay is for all teachers to provide guidance in the creation of units and lessons adapted to language level. The ESL teacher's role on grade level/content teams is to provide planning, instruction, assessment of ELLs, including but not limited to, language objectives, activities, guided practice, and assessments.
Update to Curriculum Framework
Update 07.2011 Curriculum Framework
The updated ESL program description reflective of program evaluation and alignment to core content. The update replaces previous ESL/ELA program description.

Updated PENN*LINK 09/02/2011
Use of the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test™ (W-APT) for ESL Screening/Placement and ACCESS Tier Assignment for English Language Learners (ELLs)