Bilingual/ESL Department Mission Statement:
Our mission in the Bilingual/ESL department is to support and empower educators of English Learners in order to enable excellence in academics, to engage families and the community with meaningful resources, and to enhance and establish lifelong biliteracy/biculturalism/bilingualism in our students.
Our Bilingual/ESL Programs provide all students with the skills necessary to be fluent English speakers, readers and writers in our diverse society. ESL classrooms in grades PK-12 utilize comprehensive English language development methodologies and focus on a language acquisition approach to encourage English proficiency in the ESL classroom and dual language proficiency in the Bilingual classroom.
English as a Second Language Model
All campuses offer English as a Second Language to students who speak a language other than English. Elementary students who are in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program receive ESL services from their classroom teacher through differentiation and support in all core subjects. Classroom teachers provide sheltered instruction to ensure comprehension of the content as well as developing English language proficiencies. Our district goal is to provide programs which have educational, cognitive, economic and socio-cultural benefits for our students as individuals as well as members of our community.
Secondary students in our English as a Second Language (ESL) program benefit from instruction that is geared toward the needs of second-language learners. Our methodology focuses on delivering rigorous instruction in all the content areas through implementation of the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) in all content areas in order to facilitate increased English proficiency while building academic language. In addition, all secondary English learners receive targeted and intensive language support in an ESL course that is supplemental to their English class.
Our Middle School Newcomer Program serves students in 6th-8th grades and is housed at AIM in the Alamo building. Our High School Newcomer Program serves students in 9th-11th grade and is housed at the Ball High school building. The center provides intensive instruction in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English. This transitional program focuses on rapid language development by research and evidence-based sheltered instruction.
Bilingual Program Model
For Spanish-speaking students in grades PK-4, GISD offers a dual language, one-way immersion program at Burnet, Morgan and Oppe Elementary schools. This program is an educational model in which native Spanish speakers receive instruction in both English and Spanish to promote second language acquisition and high academic achievement. Language learning takes place primarily through content instruction. Linguistic proficiency in both languages occurs as students develop their knowledge of subject matter through performing academic tasks.
For both native English and native Spanish students in Kindergarten through second grade at Oppe Elementary, a two-way dual language immersion program is offered. The dual language two-way immersion program is an educational model in which both native English speakers and native speakers of Spanish receive instruction together in both languages to promote second language acquisition, high academic achievement, and cross-cultural understanding for all students. Language learning takes place primarily through content instruction. Linguistic proficiency in both languages occurs as students develop their knowledge of subject matter through performing academic tasks.
For Spanish-speaking bilingual education students in grades 5-6, GISD offers an early exit transitional program that provides instruction in a language that is comprehensible to the students, while emphasizing a strong English-as-a-second-language (ESL) component. The ESL component aims to teach English through methodologies that take into consideration the students’ native language, which is not English.
The bilingual education program has the same high expectations for our students regarding the state-required curriculum, simply with linguistic modifications while they are on the road to becoming proficient in English. The goal is for our students to master the state curriculum at or above grade level and learn English at a high academic level. Our ultimate goal is to promote instructional and language programs that produce bi-litereate, bilingual, and bi-cultural students that will benefit and impact both our community and the world.