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ESOL Support During Distance Learning

Schools and teachers want to work with you to support your child’s education. There are many ways you can help your child throughout the school year. You are encouraged to engage with your community and school to help your child succeed and understand all aspects of school life.

Encourage your child to practice their English but continue to talk and read with your child in your native language. Research shows that bilingual children often do better in school. It will help them continue to prepare for our multilingual world.

Here are five important tips for engaging with your child’s school:

  •  Please communicate with your child’s school. You can do this through phone calls, emails, or even school visits. Ask your school for translation or interpreting help if you need it. You have the right to be provided with information in a language you understand.

  •  At times, you may be asked to sign paperwork for school. Ask for clarification of paperwork prior to signing if there is something you don’t understand.

  • Visit your child’s school. Ask for a school tour so you have a better understanding of where your child will be each day.

  •  Ask for a school calendar and information about changes in school schedules, like late openings and early dismissals.

  • Share information about your family. Tell the school if you have any challenges that would limit your participation. Explain what would help make your family feel most comfortable.
      (from A Guide to School for Families of English Learners, 2020)

Identification of incoming English Learners 

Families new to Prince George’s County with English Learners should complete the ScribEnroll online registration process to enroll their children for the 2020-2021 School Year.  Students who meet any of the criteria below will be screened for ESOL.  

  • The student’s birth certificate is from outside of the U.S. (including Puerto Rico);

  • The student has school records from outside of the U.S. or 

  • The answer to at least two out of the three home language survey questions is any language other than English.

The International Student Enrollment and Admission Office (ISAEO) Registrars and Counselors and the ESOL Diagnosticians will communicate with the families by telephone to complete the registration and language screening.  The parent will receive a copy of the parent notification form by US mail and should sign and return the letter in the stamped addressed envelope provided.  

ESOL Instruction Provided during Distance Learning 

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers will continue to provide language support services to English Learners on a regularly scheduled basis. ESOL teachers will continue to provide targeted language instruction for English.  Maryland is a member of the WIDA Consortium and uses the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards. The ELD standards guide curriculum, instruction, and assessment for ELs in Prince George’s County.

WIDA’s ELD Standards are directly aligned to the Common Core State Curriculum (CCSC) at each grade level and utilize five proficiency levels—entering, emerging, developing, expanding, and bridging—to measure the progression of a student’s English language development.

Three specific criterion points shape each level of English language proficiency: linguistic complexity, vocabulary usage, and language control. Linguistic complexity refers to the amount and quality of speech or writing for a given situation. Vocabulary usage is defined as the specificity of words or phrases for a given context, while language control is the comprehensibility of the communication based on the amount and types of errors.

  • Elementary: During distance learning live lessons, English Learners may join breakout sessions with their ESOL teacher during a portion of the instructional block.

  • Secondary: English Learners will be scheduled for an ESOL language course or a co-taught Reading English Language Arts course.   ESOL teachers will continue to provide targeted language instruction for English

Digital Resources Available to English Learners (by level)

Elementary: English Learners in Elementary School will have access to the following resources that can be accessed through Clever using the students email address and password.  

  • Reading A-Z (RAZ Kids):  RAZ kids has hundreds of interactive, eBooks spanning 29 levels. 400+ eBooks and open-book eQuizzes, with new books added every month, even in Spanish and French.  

  • Brainpop:  Brainpop is an interactive educational website with short animated movies, quizzes and other related materials, covering the subjects of science, social studies, English, math, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music.

  • Imagine Learning English (ILE): Imagine Learning English is an adaptive literacy program for Pre K through sixth grade students and provided for English Learners who are new to learning English. Through playing games and completing short lessons, students improve foundational skills, and teachers and administrators receive reports on student progress.

Middle/Academy/High School:  English Learners in Middle School will have access to the following resources that can be accessed through Clever using the students email address and password. 

  • Brainpop: Brainpop is an interactive educational website with short animated movies, quizzes and other related materials, covering the subjects of science, social studies, English, math, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music.

  • Benchmark Digital Libraries: Benchmark Digital Libraries for Secondary Students will provide information and literary texts covering the topics of science and social studies.

  • Speak Agent for Middle School English Learners: Speak Agent builds math communication, algebraic thinking, geometric reasoning, and statistics knowledge through academic language practice and collaborative problem-solving.

  • Oxford Picture Dictionaries:  A richly illustrated electronic thematic dictionary with easy-to-learn vocabulary units supported by a full range of teacher and classroom resources.

  • Rosetta Stone: Rosetta Stone English and Rosetta Stone Foundations provides an adaptive program that develops language skills, to get learners speaking immediately, and to accelerate the drive toward speaking confidence. 

Virtual training sessions will be provided for parents around using these platforms.  Information for these training sessions will be shared through the county’s facebook page, website, and provided to families by ESOL teachers.  

The Maryland State Advisory Council for English Learners developed a guide to school for families of English Learners which can be accessed through the Maryland State Department of Education website. The Guide to School for Families of English Learners has been developed to help families understand the school system and offers suggestions for how to interact with school staff to support your child’s learning. This Guide provides information about Maryland public schools including how to enroll a child in school, schools by grade levels, early childhood education, opportunities for parents, and much more. The Guide to School for Families of English Learners is also available in Spanish - Guía Escolar Para Familias de Estudiantes de Ingles.