Students whose English is not yet sufficient to cope successfully in most situations in the classroom receive support through the ESL Program. The ESL Program at Lucton is levelled and provides instruction for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. The teaching team strives to support ESL students until they are able to function independently, both academically and socially. We try to integrate the ESL students fully in the mainstream classes as soon as possible. To this end, a supportive environment is provided in both ESL and mainstream classes to encourage students to take risks in their language learning and to increase their self-confidence. Language is taught and practised within natural contexts and meaningful situations, in which the students feel accepted, happy and comfortable while feeling challenged at the same time being aware that misunderstandings and mistakes are accepted as essential in the learning process.
Language Proficiency Scale
Students who enter the school with little English are considered as being beginner level. Instruction for beginners focuses on establishing basic vocabulary and grammatical structures in order to assist them with becoming acquainted with school life at Lucton. Knowledge of the alphabet and the corresponding sounds as well as practicing their reading skills in guided situations using age-appropriate and basic-level texts are also part of ESL lessons for beginners. Intermediate students work on further expanding their vocabulary knowledge as well as on producing longer, written text. These students are taught language mainly through content related topics. Advanced level students function quite well in the mainstream classes and are able to cope with most of the assigned tasks there. They only require a little support through an ESL teacher for the consistent use of tenses and correct grammatical structures in their written texts, as well as for answering comprehension questions in full detail.
Student assessment is an on-going process throughout the school year in both formal and informal situations (formative assessment). All four skill areas, as well as the students’ knowledge of grammatical structures and their ability to use these correctly, are assessed regularly at levels appropriate to the students’ ability and age. A variety of formative and summative assessment measures are used.