Maria Alfano, Director of English as a Second Language
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The Department of English as a Second Language
Please review the terms below to assist you in understanding our program:
- ELL: English Language Learner
- ESL: English as a Second Language (We immerse our students in the English language, so therefore, we do not offer a Bilingual Program to our students)
- LEP: Limited English Proficiency
- ESOL: English to Speakers of Other Languages
- NYSESLAT: New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test
- L1: First or Home Language
- L2: Second Language/English Language
- HLQ: Home Language Questionnaire
Vision Statement: We will continue to welcome to our District students who are ELL. As we immerse our students in the English language, we also want to develop a deeper understanding of their own cultures, as well as the diverse cultures in the United States and in the world, by sharing their global perspectives in our ESL classrooms and in their academic courses. We believe that through further dialogue and a shared understanding of curriculum at all levels with classroom teachers, guidance counselors and administrators, students in our ESL Program will be provided with differentiated activities (simplified, and adapted for the ELL) and assessments to help improve and develop English language skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking and at the same time, master the content. To assist us in this endeavor, opportunities will be provided to ESL teachers and students to use the latest technological tools.
How are students identified as English Language Learners?
1. All families are required to complete a Home Language Questionnaire (Click on the link to view the form in numerous languages) as part of the overall registration process.
2. If the HLQ does not state that a second language is spoken at home, but a second language is suspected, ESL teachers can continue with the identification process.
3. Half Hollow Hills is mandated to follow the NYS Limited English Proficient Identification Process if a second language is suspected.Click on the link to review the process.
4. If a student is identified as a ELL, then he/she is placed in the program and services will begin immediately; contact hours and/or periods are determined by a student's level of proficiency and grade level.
5. Can a parent/Guardian refuse ESL services? Answer from the New York State Education Department:
No. There is no opting out from ESL once a child is identified and placed in the ESL program. New York State requires that all identified LEP/ELL students receive ESL instruction appropriate to their proficiency level. Parents do not have the option to withdraw their child from an ESL program.
Click on the link Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.
The Department collaborates with teachers, administrators and parents to ensure that our ELLs are provided with the support they need in order to help them achieve Proficient and ultimately, exit our program.The NYSESLAT is the only assessment that can determine if a students has reached the level of Proficient. Once that level is reached on both the Listening/Speaking and Reading/Writing sections, then the student is considered a former ELL.To achieve this endeavor, Mr. Fratto, Director of LOTE & ESL, provided teachers across the district with an overview of the program and suggested ways that teachers can assist ESL teachers when dealing with ELLs in the classroom. View the presentation below.
If you are a HHH community member who is bilingual and you wish to serve as a translator if the need arises, please contact the ESL Department. Translators and interpreters assist us with parent/teacher meetings.