English as a second language (ESL) services are offered throughout the district both as a component of the Bilingual (Spanish/English) Program as well as to other language-minority students who attend ESL stand-alone schools. For both programs, classes are taught by certified ESL teachers at various schools in MPS at the K-12 level.
ESL is an integral component of the Bilingual Program; both ESL and classroom teachers are responsible for the student’s English language instruction. The ESL classes are taught utilizing a content-based team teaching approach.
The instructional approaches for ESL in the bilingual classrooms parallel pedagogical methodology of mainstream classes in content areas, and the state standards are utilized for instruction and achievement. The ESL teachers derive language objectives using the WIDA® Consortium's English Language Proficiency Standards for English language learners (ELLs) in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 to ensure that ELL students are receiving the appropriate English content and vocabulary according to their individual English language proficiency (ELP) level. A variety of service delivery models based on student needs are practiced including pullout, team teaching, push-in, etc.
ELL students not enrolled in the bilingual program are placed into monolingual classrooms. Students receive native language support from bilingual teaching assistants and teachers when possible. Since students are immersed in a non-bilingual program, extra ESL support is helpful to the child’s well-being and academic growth and is encouraged. Students are typically grouped in ESL classes according to age. Integration of ESL and classroom instruction implemented through team teaching is recommended where feasible, especially for students at the intermediate and advanced stages of English language acquisition.