English as a Second Language | Berkeley International School

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ESL Overview

Berkeley International School's high expectations for all students can make the learning of both content and language a great challenge. Our middle and high school are comprised of many students who are learning in an English school for their first time. These students require extra language support both in and outside the mainstream classroom.

The ESL program at Berkeley is designed to help all learners meet the challenges of our school and to become lifelong effective communicators of English.

Initial Placement

During the school's admissions process, all students are required to take an entrance exam which helps to inform the school about a student's potential language support needs. Based on this exam, once a student has been recommended for ESL support, further language testing and placement are conducted. At that time a decision is made as to which ESL class is most appropriate, based on the student's English proficiency.

Instructional Standards

Berkeley's placement exam and ESL instruction standards are derived from The World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium, which provides both a comprehensive framework for the placement of English Language Learners (ELLs), and standards for ELL instruction. WIDA's English Language Development Standards, which have been adapted by TESOL as the national model, are used to set curricular goals, plan differentiated instruction, and measure student language growth.

Program Features

Our ESL instruction and assessment are governed by the WIDA English Language Development Standards (ELDs) and the Can-Do Descriptors by grade level. Based on these standards and grade-level benchmarks, the overriding goal for our program is to have each ELL become as proficient as their English-speaking peers.

Using these frameworks, students set goals for their reading, writing, speaking, and listening progress. Student goals drive daily instruction and class objectives in an environment where the accomplishment and potential of each student is always promoted.