Texas law requires that each school district or charter school which has an enrollment of 20 or more Limited English Proficient (LEP)/ELL students of the same language classification in the same grade level district-wide shall offer a Bilingual Education Program for students in grades Pre-K through 5. All LEP students for whom a district is not required to offer a bilingual education program shall be provided an ESL program, regardless of the students’ grade levels and home language, and regardless of the number of students. The Commissioner’s Rules concerning the State Plan for Educating Limited English Proficient Students state that all school districts that are required to provide a Bilingual Education/ ESL program establish and operate an LPAC committee.
The district shall provide for ongoing coordination between the English as a Second Language program and the regular educational program. The English as a second language program shall address the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of limited English proficient students as follows.
19 TAC, Chapter 89, Subchapter BB, 89.1210, Program Content and Design section (e).
Secondary ESL Program
The goal of the MISD ELL Department is to provide a program for ELL secondary students focused on reaching high academic achievement, maintaining bilingualism, increasing academic knowledge, and preparing students with the necessary tools to be successful at the high school level. Comprehensive and challenging instruction drives our ESL program and the academic achievement of our ELLs. Therefore, the focus of ESL instruction is to create a rigorous, hands-on, learning environment that reflects best practices, socializing intelligence, accountable talk, cooperative learning, critical thinking, and increases high level analytical tasks.
Although not a requirement, it is recommended that teachers who are ESL certified teach Language Arts classes. For the English Language Arts requirement, ELL students who are at the Beginning (B), Intermediate (I), Advanced (A) or Advanced High (AH) level of English should be assigned into English classes appropriate for their level of English. ESL courses with combined levels of English proficiency may be formed in schools where there are small numbers of ELLs. In these cases, it is imperative class size remain as low as possible, with a recommended cap of 10, to ensure quality interaction with the teacher and maximum time for language development.
Students may take an ESL Reading course in addition to their English requirements. Reading courses may be taught by Reading or ESL certified teachers. Reading courses offered vary by campus.
ELL students, particularly those who are recent arrival immigrants, should be assigned to elective courses that involve auditory and visual modes of learning such as Art, Music, Spanish for Native Spanish Speakers (if appropriate), or a variety of computer-based courses. Although ESL endorsement is not required for elective subject teachers teaching ELLs, training on second language strategies is highly encouraged.