English as a Second Language
Welcome to our site for English as a Second Language. There are at least six languages represented at Watauga Elementary. Some students learned Chinese, Gujurati, or Vietnamese languages before learning the English language. Others first learned Spanish, Urdu, French, or Arabic. However, all friends at Watauga Elementary strive to communicate by using one common language ~English, regardless of the first language the students learned. The ESL program provides academic support and a fun place to learn and share cultural backgrounds. The English as a Second Language program challenges students as they take risks that lead to success in speaking English as well as reading and writing in the English language. In a small group setting, students gain confidence and the skills to manage their communication skills.
Students are supported and encouraged to achieve their highest reading levels. Students learn with the use of leveled texts and high interest books, skill-specific games, and fun activities that focus on the four central areas of English language learning: Listening, speaking, reading, & writing.
Students keep a reading log of the great books they read. Word count accumulation is encouraged through the Accelerated Reader program. Everyone keeps a vocabulary notebook of new words that will make each student a skilled reader. ESL students are also evaluated in the spring using the WIDA ACCESS, a standardized English language proficiency test, as well as participating in all Standards of Learning tests.
Conversation mastery is evident very early as English language learners begin to respond to students and adults in social settings. Academic language mastery is a 5-7 year process as each student learns to understand and produce academic language used in classroom setting.