ESL classes serve students who are learning English as a non-native language. The goal of ESL is to bring students to a level of English proficiency whereby they can participate fully in other academic courses and transition successfully to post-secondary education. Initial placement for incoming students is based primarily on the English proficiency test score submitted with the student’s application (TOEFL, TOEFL JR, SLATE or IELTS).
Movement between levels is determined by teacher recommendations, grades in ESL and other courses, and updated proficiency test scores. It is not uncommon for students to remain at the same level for multiple semesters. Since most colleges require a TOEFL iBT score of at least 80 for admission, students who desire to exit the high school ESL program are expected to score at least near that level.
Additional fees are charged for all levels of ESL. Fees are adjusted each semester to reflect the student’s current level.
ESL Level 2
Level 2 focuses on improving students’ basic English skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Classwork and assignments are designed to help students increase their vocabulary and communication skills in order to participate in school life and work toward functioning in a regular classroom. Students in Level 2 do not take another English class. ESL Level 2 meets for three periods each day. First and/or Second Semester.
ESL Level 3
Level 3 serves to help improve students’ English communication skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to a level where they can begin to function in a regular classroom. Students also receive language level appropriate assignments and testing in their regular courses as well as advocacy by the ESL Level 3 teacher. Students in Level 3 generally do not take another English class. ESL Level 3 meets one period each day. First and/or Second Semester.
ESL Level 4
Level 4 is designed to assist students with a smooth transition to all regular classes, especially English classes, without modifications. Students focus on vocabulary development, academic writing skills, literature reading and interpretation, and test-taking skills (especially the TOEFL IBT). ESL Level 4 students may, with teacher recommendation, take an additional English course. Students taking ESL 4 are required to take the TOEFL IBT or IELTS as a part of each semester’s coursework and grade. A score of 75 is needed to successfully complete the program. First and/or Second Semester.