The English Language Development specialists of the School District of Clayton believe that learning English is a social process that develops as a result of meaningful and motivated interaction with others. In our schools, we help English Learners (ELs) develop language skills while they learn academic content. We believe this happens best within a community of learners where ELs are valued and encouraged to participate.
We believe that linguistically and culturally diverse learners are a unique asset of the School District of Clayton, enriching the experiences of all of our learners and educators. Having ELs in our community provides opportunities for all learners to acquire cultural competence and to develop communication and collaborative skills across cultures.
We believe that content-area teachers and EL Specialists can address the needs of English language learners through a collaborative instructional model that includes evidence-based decision-making, multiple assessments to monitor progress, reflection, and feedback to improve student learning. We believe that co-teaching and collaboration provide opportunities for promoting and scaffolding academic language development for all students.
English Learners in our district are a diverse group of students with different educational experiences, languages and socio-emotional needs. While growth in English proficiency is an important goal of our program, we believe in supporting the success of the whole child, understanding how each individual student learns best, and in meeting each learner where they are.
The School District of Clayton English Language Development Program is designed to help English Learners acquire English to a level of proficiency that maximizes their capacity to engage successfully in academic studies taught in English. The program provides language instruction and educational experiences in these ways:
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.Enduring Understandings
- Teach the skills required for English Learners to achieve an advanced level of academic English language proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
- Help ELs meet the academic achievement standards expected of all students.
- Support the successful acculturation of students and families.
- Promote parent engagement in the child’s learning and in the school community.
- 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 that differ for individual learners.
- 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.
The School District of Clayton English Language Development Program also affirms WIDA's Guiding Principles of Language Development.