According to the National Education Association, English Language Learners (ELL) are the fastest growing subgroup of students in U.S. public schools. Their enrollment continues to increase by 10 percent annually, according to a 2008 report published by the Pew Hispanic Center. ELL are students who are learning English as a second language and may be having difficulty speaking, listening, reading, writing or understanding the English language. About 76 percent of all such students in the United States speak Spanish; however, there are more than 460 languages represented in U.S. classrooms.
Batesville Community School Corp. has over 60 English Language Learners in grades K-12, reports director of learning Melissa Burton. These students represent nine different languages, including Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Korean, German, Djerma and several languages native to India.
The students have varied levels of language proficiency. Some come from homes in which no English is spoken, while others come from homes where only English is spoken. According to Burton, some have been exposed to or use multiple languages in the home.
In order to meet the needs of these diverse learners, BCSC employs a full-time English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. Kayla Ryle uses both “push-in” and “pull-out” instructional education models. With the push-in model, the teacher goes into classrooms while instruction is occurring to help English Language Learners better understand the content being taught.
With the pull-out program, students leave their classrooms for a short period of time to work on lessons individually or in small groups with Ryle. These English language lessons focus on grammar, vocabulary and communication skills, not subject matter content like in the push-in program.
More information about BCSC is offered at http://bcsc.batesvilleinschools.com.