FAIRFIELD CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
ENGLIGH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL) PROGRAM
Laurie Gage, ESL Coordinator, Instructional Coach
Mario Amaya, ESL Community Liaison
Jennie Thompson, Coordinator of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction
Fairfield City School District has a long history of providing English as a Second Language services to students whose first language is not English. Our program began in the 1980s when General Electric transferred several families from France to the GE Plant in Cincinnati. Students attended Central Elementary School, and under the leadership of Dr. Gayle Niehaus our program began. Today we provide services to over 600 students. Our international student population includes 46 different languages. The top three languages in our district are Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese.
All English Language Learners (ELL) students in the Fairfield City School District are invited to participate in our ESL program upon registration in the district. The Enrollment Center packet for new students includes the Home Language Survey. This document identifies the student's primary language and the primary language spoken in the home. Parents grant permission to the district to test their children for English proficiency and when necessary place their children in our ESL program.
ESL is a multi-faceted program offering English language classes and content-area assistance to English language learners (ELL) enrolled in the Fairfield City School District. The goal of our ESL program is for students to acquire a level of English language proficiency that enables them to meet grade level promotion requirements, state-mandated graduation requirements, and ultimately compete successfully in mainstream society.
There are three federal court cases that provide the legal foundation for providing equal educational opportunity to students with limited English proficiency: Lau vs. Nichols, 1973; Castaneda vs. Pickard, 1981; and Plyler vs. Doe, 1982. Fairfield City School District, in compliance with federal and state law, provides services to ELL students who qualify for our ESL programs.
Descriptions of Programs for English Language Learners (ELL)
Replacement Language Arts (ESL Class)
ESL classes provide concentrated instruction in how to speak, read, write, and understand the English language. Our ESL staff uses the National Geographic ESL Program, which was written with English Language Learners and language acquisition as its focus. Our elementary buildings use REACH, our Intermediate and Middle Schools use INSIDE, and our Freshman and High Schools use EDGE. Methods that are included in the program are conversation, games, discussions, computer programs, video presentations, and writing activities. ESL classes are held during the regular school day, as part of a student’s daily schedule. Students are also scheduled into regular classes, where they practice their English skills and learn regular school subjects. ESL classes are taught by TESOL-endorsed teachers.
Small-group instruction occurs outside the students' language arts homeroom. The REACH program is utilized to supplement the core reading curriculum. Pull-Out support occurs mainly in the elementary setting.
In-Class Support (Inclusion)
In-Class support (inclusion) is provided to ELL students who are assigned to regular classes with English-speaking students. An ESL teacher or tutor is assigned to a class where one or more ELL students are enrolled. They provide assistance with understanding the lesson, completing tests and homework, learning to participate orally in class, and working on group projects.
Teacher monitoring is provided to ELL students who have achieved English proficiency. During monitoring, a teacher or tutor checks on the student’s academic progress to make sure the student is succeeding. Monitoring can continue for up to two years after the student is no longer receiving regular ESL support. If a student begins to experience serious academic problems that are related to their English acquisition, the school will provide appropriate ESL support.
IDEA Proficiency Test
Upon permission from parents, testing begins with the IPT (IDEA Proficiency Test). This test includes is a series of standardized, nationally-normed testing instruments for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. The IPT evaluates students’ oral language, reading, and writing proficiency in English. Once the IPT is scored, eligibility is determined and students are placed in an ESL program.
Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA)
State and Federal law require an annual assessment of K-12 Limited English Proficient (LEP) students to measure their English language proficiency. The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) is the assessment used for testing English language proficiency for Ohio LEP students in Grades K-12.
If you are interested in any other assessments administered by Fairfield, click here.