• English as a Second Language


    Image       
    Paul Tar
    (860) 859-1900 X933
    Fairfield University-B.S.
    Connecticut College-M.A.T.
    ptar@stmct.org
     
      
     Greg Ladd      
    Greg Ladd
    (860) 859-1900 X141
    ESL Teacher;
    Director of International Admissions
    Elon University-B.S.
    Temple University, Japan-M.A. ESL/Special Education
    gladd@stmct.org
     
     

    ESL I

    Students entering ESL I are beginners with minimal proficiency in English. These students' needs are met within our program through five courses:
    1) Grammar
    2) Writing
    3) Reading
    4) Vocabulary
    5) Listening and Speaking

    The aim of the English as a Second Language Program at St. Thomas More School is to enable students whose first language is not English to study successfully at an English medium high school. Because proficiency in English requires a variety of skills, each course incorporates many aspects of the others: for example, Reading will incorporate Listening and Speaking skills by having students read a passage aloud or discuss a recently read story.

    An important goal of the ESL I Curriculum is to immerse beginning international students in an intensive program which will provide them with basic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.  We have updated our curriculum to reflect the current trends toward content-based ESL instruction.  The topics that we study in our ESL program reflect the subject matter that students will be expected to study in the regular academic classes.  Grammar, writing skills, and academic vocabulary are all presented and practiced in the academic areas of social studies, history, science, the arts, and literature. Students find it interesting and relevant to the courses that they know await them as upper classman in high school, followed by university.

    ESL I Listening and Speaking

    This is a four-skills course that will focus on helping low proficiency English learners improve speaking, listening, writing, and reading through content based materials.  Students will be exposed to various academic areas such as literature, science, social studies.  Participants will learn to notice vocabulary and grammar structures as they learn new information.   Students will give presentations based on their own lives and interests as well as the content they are learning in class.  In the Listening component, each unit will have a language focus, a comprehension focus, and listening for pleasure.  Students will learn and recycle every day and content vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and intonation.

    ESL I Reading

    Students gain exposure to a variety of literary genres in this course. It is designed to help students build upon the basic skill of understanding plot. Eventually, students are able to think analytically about theme and genre as well as identify different literary terms such as metaphor and symbolism in an effort to help them create the same depth in their own writing. The course begins as a survey of literature from the reader and eventually expands to include books from the mainstream English curriculum.

    ESL I Vocabulary

    Teacher and StudentStudents gain exposure to the important words of the academic word list, which are widely used in all academic disciplines. Students will learn to use a dictionary not just to learn word meanings, but also acquire the ability to use them appropriately in academic contexts and in everyday life.  These skills will be continuously reinforced throughout the rest of the ESL curriculum.

    ESL I Writing

    This course will be a four-skills course utilizing listening, vocabulary, speaking, and writing.  The course will focus on writing fluency, language, use, academic writing, and professional writing.  Students will also find that this class presents opportunities to develop everyday vocabulary, content-based vocabulary, and writing skills.  Students will write about their routines, places, biographical information, music, hobbies, problems and advice, recent activities, and other topics based on their interests.  They will keep a daily journal of their activities and other topics of their choosing, as well as topics selected by their teacher.

    ESL I Grammar

    This four-skills course will help beginning and low intermediate students review and practice fundamental grammar points so that they can be used in academic and every day situtations.  Students will practice the verb tenses, comparatives, superlative adjectives, and phrasal verbs in isolation and then in conversation with each other.  Students will learn to recognize these grammar points when they appear in their content-based text.  

    ESL II Grammar and Writing

    This course will be a four-skills course utilizing listening, vocabulary, speaking, and writing.  The course will focus on writing fluency, language, use, academic writing, and professional writing.  Students will also find that this class presents opportunities to develop everyday vocabulary, content-based vocabulary, and writing skills.  Students will write about their routines, places, biographical information, music, hobbies, problems and advice, recent activities, and other topics based on their interests.  They will keep a daily journal Students will keep a daily journal of their activities and other topics of their choosing, as well as topics selected by their teacher.

    ESL II Listening and Speaking

    This is a more advanced four-skills course that will focus on helping intermediate English learners improve speaking, listening, writing, and reading through content-based materials.  Students are exposed to various academic areas such as literature, science, social studies, history and the arts.  The meaning and usage of academic vocabulary is a central component of the course. Participants learn to notice vocabulary and grammar structures as they learn new information. Students will give presentations based on their own lives as well as on the content they are learning in class.   In the Listening component, each unit will have a language focus, a comprehension focus, and listening for pleasure.  The class will learn content vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and intonation.  Students will learn to give complete sentence responses to questions. 

    ESL II Reading and Vocabulary

    This course is designed to help students that are learning English as a second language become stronger in their reading skills. This will include reading and introducing literary concepts that are seen in mainstream English literature classes as well as expanding their English vocabulary. Students will work on improving their reading fluency and comprehension as they develop their vocabulary usage.  Students will continue to develop the ability to acquire new academic and other high use words and how to use them in proper context.  In learning academic vocabulary, students will find themselves better able to describe things that are important to them.  Students will read short stories, poetry, memoirs, autobiographical reflections, and folktales.  By reading as much as possible, students will broaden their exposure to various genres of literature.  They will be prepared to apply newly learned vocabulary and reading skills in mainstream courses. Prerequisite: ESL I Reading and Vocabulary, equivalent preparation, or teacher recommendation.