The English Language (EL) curriculum is based on the Clayton English language proficiency standards [Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)] and the School District of Clayton's balanced literacy approach to teaching and learning. The EL Curriculum Framework outlines Learning Targets for each level of English language proficiency (Levels 1-6) across the language domains of speaking, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar, as well as acculturation and sociolinguistic competencies.
The elementary EL curriculum is grounded in
- EL Curriculum Framework Standards (Learning Targets)
- Core Content goals in balanced literacy, math, science and social studies, and
- balanced assessment strategies.
Drawing on these curriculum structures and in collaboration with classroom teachers, differentiated instruction is planned for English Language learners at all proficiency levels (Levels 1-5). The elementary (grades k-5) EL curriculum also provides EL teachers with a Beginners’ Workshop curriculum for students working at the Basic-Beginner and High-Beginner levels.
The secondary level EL curriculum is also grounded in the EL Curriculum Framework Standards, core content and ongoing assessment of student growth and development. The secondary curriculum plans differentiated instruction for students that includes systematic English language instruction and content-area support as needed in science, math, social studies and literacy classes. Secondary level EL students are enrolled in mainstream courses as English proficiency skills allow. Alphabet, phonemic awareness, syllabication, vocabulary, spelling and comprehension strategies are taught based on individual student needs. In addition,, reading and writing skills are taught within the context of content area assignments. Individual writing conferences support students in the development of writing skills.
Acculturation and sociolinguistic standards guide the development of skills that promote the social and cultural adjustment of English Language learners. The program seeks to create a positive social environment that integrates language minority students with their English-speaking peers.
Listed below are the Enduring Understandings of the English Language curriculum. These are statements that summarize important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.
- Language is human communication interpreted individually and communally across, within, and between cultures.
- Language processes develop interdependently (speaking, listening, reading, writing, acculturation).
- Language involves both understanding and using cultural, verbal, and non-verbal symbols.
- Language acquisition is a long-term process that develops naturally and in stages.
- Language acquisition builds on meaningful interaction and challenging content.
- Native language proficiency level (L1) strongly influences second language acquisition (L2).
- Bilingualism (plurilingualism) is an individual and a societal asset.