English Learner Education

Stefanie DeRosa
Curriculum Director

Program Components: ESL and SEI

What is ESL?

ESL stands for English as a Second Language.  ESL instruction consists of different levels of English language instruction based on each student’s current proficiency level. ESL instruction provides systematic, explicit, and direct instruction in all parts of English: phonics, phonemic awareness, morphology, lexicon, grammar and syntax, and prepares students for general education by focusing on academic language.

The ESL department is responsible for providing English language instruction to EL students.  The ESL teachers do not need to know other languages or the native language of their students to teach ESL. ESL classes are part of the programs and curricula offered to students who do not understand, speak or write English well enough to participate effectively with their native English-speaking peers.

All students enrolled in the ELE program will receive instruction in the same content objectives in accordance with the Massachusetts Common Core curricula. Additionally, the instruction of EL students will be based on the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English language development standards.  ELs will receive ESL instruction and language support consistent with their needs.

What is SEI?

Students with limited command of English require both ESL instruction and sheltered instruction.  Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) is carried out entirely in English per MCL 71 A.  Sheltered instruction is content area (i.e. math, science, social studies) teaching which includes language learning objectives that help ELs practice the language of the content area.   Sheltered instruction incorporates the following key components:

  • language objectives to accompany each content objective
  • vocabulary instruction
  • building students’ background knowledge
  • integration of listening, speaking, reading, and writing about the content concepts
  • practice and application

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