• BPS English as a Second Language (ESL) 

    It has become increasingly apparent that our nation is growing more diverse each year.  research indicated that it takes English Language Learners (ELLs) between five to seven or even ten years to catch-up to the academic English language proficiency of a native speaker.  Students who enroll in Birmingham Public Schools at any grade-level with limited or no English language skills find the support they need to succeed.  Currently, students speaking over 40 different languages are serviced in our English as a Second Language Program.

     

    Elementary ESL Program:  

    At the elementary level, we have two magnet centers.  Students at the basic or at the low-intermediate level can attend West Maple ESL Magnet Center or Pierce ESL Magnet Center depending on where they live.  At the centers, students receive daily intensive English instruction, five days per week, and then they spend the rest of the day in mainstream classrooms.  Students may choose to return to their neighborhood school when exited from ESL Magnet Center program.  Students with high-intermediate English proficiency or above may receive coordinated support services based on recommendations from progress monitoring.

     

    Middle School ESL Program:  

    At the middle school level, the magnet center is located a Berkshire Middle School.  The ESL magnet program offers three levels of instruction plus a tutorial class.  Students are enrolled in classes according to their proficiency levels.  Students with high-intermediate  English proficiency or above may receive coordinated support services based on recommendations from progress monitoring.

     

    • ESL A is a language arts class for newcomers to the U.S. Students learn English in the four domains: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students learn interpersonal communication skills and begin developing the academic language needed to be successful in their content area classes. This class is based on English level rather than grade level, and students may be in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.

     

    • ESL B is a language arts class that is aligned with the BPS language arts curriculum, with modifications to meet the needs of English language learners. ESL B students work on the same reading and writing strategies, genres, literary analysis, and themes and skills as their native English-speaking classmates. The goal of this class is to help students develop increased fluency in their reading and to read increasingly difficult texts in English for multiple purposes. This class focuses on the application of multiple reading strategies in a variety of genres, the continued learning of high-frequency vocabulary, note-taking in academic settings and further development of listening and speaking skills. Students develop increased skill in the use of more complex grammatical conventions, such as identification of all parts of speech, singular and plural nouns, verb usage in past, present and future, subject-verb agreement, and compound and complex sentences. Writing skills are developed from the paragraph to the essay level using various organizational patterns. Students increase their proficiency in the use of multimedia as tools for language development. This class is based on English level rather than grade level, and students may be in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.

     

    • ESL C is aligned with the BPS language arts curriculum, with modifications to meet the needs of English language learners. ESL C students work on the same reading and writing strategies, genres, literary analysis, and themes and skills as their native English-speaking classmates. The goal of this class is to help students develop increased fluency in their reading and to read increasingly difficult texts in English for multiple purposes. This class focuses on the application of multiple reading strategies in a variety of genres, particularly with a focus on their ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and increase their independent reading. Furthermore, ESL C students continue to develop their mastery of academic vocabulary, note-taking in academic settings and more extensive listening and speaking skills. Students develop increased skill in the use of complex grammatical conventions, such as more sophisticated verb usage, comparatives and superlatives, prepositions, dependent and independent clauses, and compound and complex sentences. Writing skills are developed at the five-paragraph essay level using various organizational patterns. Students increase their proficiency in the use of multimedia as tools for language development. This class is based on English level rather than grade level, and students may be in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. 

     

    • ESL Tutorial is an elective offered to English language learners in ESL A, B, or C. In this class, students receive help with their content area classes such as science, social studies, math, and language arts. The ESL staff works in conjunction with the mainstream teachers to provide additional support. Tutorial may also be used for more instruction in the English language or in American culture.

     

     

    High School ESL Program:  

    Three levels of ESL classes are available for  high school students.  These ESL classes are conducted at Seaholm High School and students receive instruction in listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Students are enrolled according to their English proficiency levels and receive English credit.