Programming for English Language Learners
The Fitchburg Public Schools provide Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) programming to English language learners at all levels, from beginning to advanced. Students develop proficiency in reading and writing, as well as speaking and listening, while they participate in general education classes. The SEI program, consists of two components: Sheltered Content Instruction and English as a Second Language.
Sheltered Content Instruction
Sheltered content instruction is intended to make instruction in academic content areas, delivered in English, more comprehensible to English language learners as they grow in English proficiency. It is provided by general education teachers, trained in the specialized techniques and strategies associated with sheltered content instruction.
English as a Second Language
ESL instruction is designed to help English language learners “catch up” to their classmates in academic content by learning English as quickly as possible. ESL instruction specifically addresses the language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing within the context of the Common Core Standards.
In ESL and in other classes, instruction of English language learners is delivered according to World Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards, with a focus on the development of English language proficiency in the context of core content areas.
Last spring, a video-production team visited South Street Elementary School to capture the ESL curriculum work of Nicole Cooper and Deborah Hooper along with their students.
These videos were produced by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, are each about 6-7 minutes in length and detail the new ESL units available on the DESE website. Nicole and Deborah are among a group of several Massachusetts ESL teachers who were selected to be videotaped, and the videos can be viewed at the following links:
Another video, featuring Fitchburg teachers, was produced by the Center for Applied Linguistics. You'll see many of our staff members hard at work, and hear some of our thinking about high quality instructional practices to support English language learners.
This video, features ESL teacher Dani Matern and colleagues Nicole Cooper and Deborah Hooper from South Street Elementary School, along with other Fitchburg teachers who participated in the Center of Applied Linguistics Educational Connections project.