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English as a Second Language Program

What is English as a Second Language?

English as a Second Language (ESL) is intensive English language instruction by teachers trained in recognizing and working with language differences.

State law requires school districts to provide ESL:

  • In elementary school, when there are fewer than 20 emergent bilingual students of the same language enrolled in the same grade in the district.
  • In middle school and high school when there are emergent bilingual students.

What is the purpose of an ESL program?

  • An ESL program develops competence in English.
  • It prepares the student to be successful in all academic subjects.

Who should be enrolled in an ESL program?

Prekindergarten through high school students who speak or hear a language other than English in their home and who are not fluent in English.

What is an ESL program?

  • An ESL program provides intensive instruction that develops oral and written comprehension and reading and writing in English.
  • An ESL program uses the academic and cultural experience of the student as a platform to provide the appropriate instruction in English.
  • An ESL program teaches mathematics, science, and social studies using strategies and methodologies appropriate for second language acquisition.

Will my child be taught the same subjects and learn the same skills as students in the general education program?

  • YES! All students in ESL must receive instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in English using strategies and methodologies appropriate for them.
  • YES! Language Arts, Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies are integral parts of the state-mandated curriculum.
  • YES! Music, P.E., and Art are all part of the balanced curriculum that children in the program are required to receive.

Who is responsible for teaching an ESL program?

Teachers who are specially trained, tested, and certified to teach in ESL programs meet the special language needs of these students.

How is an ESL program different from English language arts instruction?

  • Teachers are appropriately certified by the state to teach ESL.
  • State-adopted ESL materials are provided to help students learn through proven methods.
  • The focus is on learning English for effective participation in other classes.

How can parents help their children learn by participating in the ESL program?

  • Parents can volunteer for classroom activities.
  • Parents can encourage their child at home to achieve, provide a place to study, and show interest in schoolwork.
  • Parents can ask their child's teacher or principal about becoming a member of the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC), which helps determine how students will be taught.

How do I Enroll?

Families new to the district are encouraged to begin the enrollment process before the first day of school. Enrollment forms can be obtained at any TISD campus. Enrollment requirements, locations, dates, and more can be found by visiting our Registration & Enrollment page.