English As a New Language
Students who enroll in NYC public schools often come from homes that speak language(s) other than English can qualify to receive additional assistance with attaining English Language Proficiency. The ENL (English As a New Language) Program provides support for English Language Learners utilizing the Push In/ Pull Out models. ELLs (English Language Learners) receive support during the school day with developing their Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing skills in English. Students enrolled in the ENL program have the opportunity to receive small group instruction, participate in hands on and multi-sensory activities that target language development in English. Each year ELL students demonstrate their progress with developing their English skills by taking the NYSESLAT exam. Their English language proficiency levels vary from Entering, Emerging, Transitioning, Expanding and Commanding. Students who attain a Commanding score on NYSESLAT exit the program.
We are committed to providing our English Language Learners with a high-quality education that values their culture and prepares them for middle school, high school, and success in college and future careers. We work with families, communities, and other partners to ensure that students have equal access to programs that help them learn English—and achieve in all of their classes, including math, science, and social studies. Our goal is to provide English Language Learners with the skills they need to become leaders in a global society.
What is an English Language Learner?
An English Language Learner, or ELL, is a student whose native language is not English and needs support learning English.
What kinds of programs and services are available to my child?
The New York City Department of Education offers three programs to English Language Learners: Dual Language, Transitional Bilingual Education, and English as a New Language.
How does a school determine if my child is an ELL?
All parents and guardians of newly enrolled students are required to complete a Home Language Identification Survey that lets us know what language your child speaks at home. If the survey indicates your child uses a language other than English, he or she may be given the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners. This test measures your child’s knowledge of English and determines if he or she needs support programs and services. If the test shows that your child needs support learning English, he or she is identified as an English Language Learner.
What are the differences between these programs?
At the Children’s Lab School’s English as a New Language program, which used to be called English as a Second Language or ESL, we provide instruction in English with support in the students’ home language so that they can learn to read, write, and speak English. Students in this program can come from many different language backgrounds, and English may be the only common language among them.
In Dual Language programs, students are taught in two languages: English and their home language, such as Spanish, Chinese, or French, among others. The goal of this program is for students to be able to read, write, and speak in both English and their home language. In Dual Language classes, the home language and English are used equally.
Transitional Bilingual Education programs provide reading, writing, and other classes in English and in your child’s home language. As students’ English improves, time spent learning in English increases and time spent learning in the home language decreases. Once your child is no longer identified as an English Language Learner, he or she will exit the program.
There are many benefits to English Language Learner programs:
- Students are able to use their home language to learn English.
- Students learn to appreciate different cultures.
- Students who speak two or more languages are valuable to future employers and have an easier time finding jobs.
How will I know how well my child is performing in a program?
Your child's school will hold parent-teacher conferences and annual ELL parent meetings to let you know how your child is performing in school. In addition, each spring your child will be given the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test. This test measures your child’s progress in learning English. It is given to all English Language Learners enrolled in grades K-12 in New York State schools. The results allow students, teachers, and parents to understand each student’s strengths and areas that need improvement, such as speaking, reading, and writing. The results of this test are also used to determine if your child will continue to be identified as an English Language Learner in the next school year.
How will my child demonstrate English language proficiency growth?
The NYSESLAT is the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test. This test assesses a student's English proficiency in:
All children identified as English Language Learners take the test until they score "commanding". It can take several years for a child to become "commanding". The NYSESLAT is administered in the spring of every school year. You will be notified when results are available in September and if your child will continue to receive ELL services.
How to get involved:
- Ensure that your child goes to school every day, ready to learn.
- Ensure that your child reads and completes his or her homework assignments daily.
- Attend all parent-teacher conferences and annual ELL parent meetings.
- Help your child obtain a public library card and visit the library frequently.
- Attend parent workshops and conferences that are specially designed to assist you in helping your child.
- Serve as a parent volunteer in your child’s school.
- Create a supportive home environment for learning and studying.
- Read with your child in your native language every day and encourage him or her to read daily.
- Attend school activities such as field trips, assemblies, Parent Teacher Association, Parent Association, and Community Education Council meetings.
Common ESL Acronyms and Terms:
BICS: Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
Bilingual Instruction: Provision of instruction in school settings through the medium of two languages, usually a native and a second language.
Bilingual Language User: A person who is skilled to some degree in two languages.
CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
CM: Commanding Language Proficiency
EFL: English as a Foreign Language
ELD: English Language Development
ELL: English Language Learner
ELP: English Language Proficiency
EM: Entering Language Proficiency
EN: Emerging Language Proficiency
ENL: English as a New Language
ESL: English as a Second Language
ESOL: English for Speakers of Other Language
EX: Expanding Language Proficiency
Home Language: Language(s) spoken in the student’s home by significant others (e.g., family members, caregivers) who reside there.
Language Proficiency: The level of competence at which an individual is able to use language for both basic communicative tasks and academic purposes.
NYSESLAT: New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test
Primary Language: First or native language spoken by an individual.
Social Language: The aspects of language proficiency strongly associated with basic fluency in face-to-face-interaction; natural speech in social interactions, including those that occur in a classroom.
TR: Transitioning Language Proficiency