English Learner (EL) Program
The Clarksdale Municipal School District shall provide an appropriate planned instructional program for identified students whose dominant language is not English. The goal of the EL Program is to provide English Learners (ELs) with instructional support that will enable them to participate fully in their educational experience in our schools and in their social lives in our community. The objectives of the EL program are to develop both basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP), to develop proficiency in the language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, to develop competence in intercultural interactions, and to encourage participation in the full range of instructional activities in the regular education curriculum and in extracurricular activities in our schools.
The program components ensure each student receives instruction geared towards helping the student achieve academic standards in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and allowing the students the opportunities they need to become proficient in the use of the English language. The EL program provided to ELs will include direct language instruction as well as adaptations to instruction and assessment in all content areas, both of which must be commensurate with the student's level of English proficiency.
Students in the EL program must be provided with meaningful, comprehensible access to instruction in all content areas required by Mississippi College and Career Readiness Standards. Accommodations and modifications provided to the student will be provided by the EL teacher, which will be collaboratively developed by the EL teacher and grade level/content teacher(s). Appropriate academic support services will be provided to ELs within the content courses and may include an EL teacher or supplemental materials. Common planning time to support instructional planning and evaluation efforts between the EL teacher and grade level/content-area teachers will be provided.
ELs must be graded using the same grading system as all other students. Grading of ELs must reflect what the students know and are able to do at their level of English language proficiency. The content teacher(s), EL teacher, school counselor, and principal will monitor all ELs' progress during the school year to determine if programming changes are necessary.
The linguistic program goal of the EL program is developing literacy in English using Content-Based EL as the program model. English instruction is adapted to student’s proficiency level and supplemented by gestures, visual aids, and manipulatives. This approach of teaching EL makes use of instructional materials, learning tasks, and classroom techniques from academic content areas as the vehicle for developing language, content, cognitive, and study skills.