To assist the English Language Learner (ELL) students in the Comsewogue School District, an innovative approach to educating all learners is employed.  Using either a Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) or Traditional Bilingual Education (TBE), students enhance their academic skills through the four domains of English (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).   Students receive varied amounts of support based on NYS Testing (NYSESLAT) to determine proficiency levels.

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Glossary of Frequently Used Terms

  • Academic English is the English language ability needed to participate in school. This is also called cognitive/academic language proficiency (CALP).

  • Accommodations are classroom techniques or materials that are used to help struggling students work around difficulties.

  • Basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) refers to the ability to speak basic English. It’s sometimes called “survival English” or “playground English.”

  • Bilingual education is a program that provides instruction in both the native language and in English.

  • Biliteracy means being able to speak and understand written material in both English and another language.

  • Early childhood English language learner (ECELL) refers to a child under age 5 who is learning English as a second language.

  • English language learner (ELL) refers to a student who is age 5 or older and who is learning English as a second language.

  • English as a second language (ESL) is an approach in which students who are not native English speakers are mainly taught in English. It focuses on language skills rather than content. It can be done in the classroom or as a pull-out service.

  • English as a new language (ENL) refers to a student who is new to learning the English language.

  • Exit criteria is a set of guidelines for determining when ELL students are literate enough in English to end special language services.

  • Former English Language Learner is a student that performed at a commanding level on the NYSESLAT or an expanding level with a passing grade on the English Regents within the same year.

  • Language proficiency refers to whether the student has enough language skills to read, listen, write and communicate well.

  • Primary language is the language that students who speak two or more languages are most fluent in or prefer to use.

  • Pull-out ESL is a program in which students are pulled out of their classrooms for special instruction to learn English.

  • Push-in ESL is a program in which the ESL teacher comes into the classroom to provide English instruction.

  • Standard English refers to formal English writing and speaking. This is the most widely accepted and understood form of English in the U.S.

  • Transitional bilingual education uses two languages to provide instruction. The use of English is gradually increased until it’s the only language used.