The English as a Second Language Program is a total immersion program into the English language. Students will learn about American culture and their new environment through in class instruction and activities as well as local field trips. In addition, students will develop proficiency with listening, speaking, reading, and writing academic English to enable them to successfully integrate into our high school classes.
International students accepted to The Newman School must demonstrate a minimal level of proficiency with the English language as measured by the SLEP or the TOEFL. TOEFL a score of 350 – 370 (paper-based) for Level II; and a score of 371 – 447 (paper-based) for Level III. Students scoring above 450 are tested further to determine the proper combination of ESL courses and transitional high school courses. SLEP 40-46 for Level III, 47-53 for Transitional and students scoring above a 54 are tested further to determine the proper combination of ESL course and transitional high school courses.
Placement testing is administered when international students arrive at the school.
ESL II (Intermediate Level) is designed for students who have successfully completed a beginning level ESL course, or who have tested into the Intermediate Level. In this level students focus on the following courses:
Grammar a conversational grammar text provides instruction and practice in basic intermediate level grammar. Students will review the present tense, past tense and continue through to the present perfect. In addition, a writing component to the course will give the students experience with different kinds of writing beginning with the paragraph and topic sentences, and basic compositions.
Reading/Writing: helps students develop reading comprehension skills through previewing, predicting, scanning, guessing word meaning, finding topic sentences and use of reference words. Writing skills are taught implicitly through the readings, which serve as the example of good writing. In addition, writing is also taught explicitly through analysis, explanation and guided practice.
Speaking/Listening: provides an opportunity for students to practice listening to many different types of discourse. Listening strategies for improving vocabulary, comprehension and grammar are cultivated in every unit. Students are often called upon to prepare oral presentations and actively participate in classroom discussions. In addition, listening to short talks and paraphrasing them both orally and in writing helps to improve these skills.
ESL III (Advanced Level) is designed for international students who have successfully completed level 2 of ESL or its equivalent. The courses help prepare students to read and analyze literature. Emphasis here is placed on critical reading of fiction and an academic text. An abridged U.S. History text is used to introduce students to concepts and vocabulary that will be encountered in our high school U.S. History course. In addition, students will be exposed to other forms of printed media including newspapers and magazines. A conversational grammar text provides instruction and practice in advanced structures. Students will improve written expression by writing various forms of compositions.
Grammar and Writing a conversational grammar text provides instruction and practice in advanced structures. This course also provides practice in written English by involving students in writing various forms of composition (informing, persuading, classifying, narrating, etc.) making use of outlines, peer editing and rewrites. Students will also be required to write a short research paper using the library and Internet sources, citations and bibliography.
American History focuses primarily on introducing students to American History in preparation for further study in non-ESL courses. An adapted text is used which has readings followed by exercises specifically designed to improve the students’ ability to understand and discuss material in short essay and open response questions.
Literature designed to help students improve their basic reading strategies with particular emphasis on increasing vocabulary and improving comprehension. Students will read short stories, both adapted and non-adapted for ESL students. Readings are often selected to complement the historical period being covered in the History class. Follow up exercises are specifically designed to improve the students’ ability to understand, analyze and discuss texts in preparation for further study in non-ESL courses.
Listening/Speaking/Vocabulary designed to expand the students’ ability to understand spoken English for general academic purposes (radio, TV, lectures, informal conversation, etc.) A variety of materials are used including radio tapes, videos and actual high school lectures. In addition, interactive activities, projects and PowerPoint presentations will be used to develop speaking skills. Impromptu conversations and discussions are always encouraged to further improve confidence in oral expression. Note taking and paraphrasing is also incorporated into this course. Further, vocabulary will be studied in a systematic way with a text using flash cards and frequent quizzes.