Blog Post Written By: Danna Morales, ELL Teacher
At MELA, the English Language Learners Service (ELL), provides additional support to students so they can obtain the skills needed for their academic success. The ELL program has students from different countries, native speakers of different languages, and academic levels. Our program is designed to meet the students' needs, as we focus on what they know as well as their strengths, as we know each student can be highly motivated and encouraged according to their proficiency level and background.
The services can be provided as a “push in”, when we work with the students within their own classroom environment, or “pull out”, when we work in the ELL classroom. These activities can be individual (1 student + teacher) or in small groups of students (between 2 to 4 students + teacher).
We always welcome with open arms students that come from other schools or even newcomers to the country.
Students receive personalized instruction according to their needs. We use the scores obtained in the ACCESS Tests that determine the levels of progress in English language learning of each student in the domains of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. In addition to these test scores, we work side by side with their classroom teacher to make sure we have a very good understanding of their individual needs.
Being bilingual has a lot of great benefits for children and adults. We at MELA, encourage families to keep using their first language, with the understanding that we want to help the students to be bilingual and equally successful in both languages they speak. We focus on student learning by giving them the tools for success such as letters and sounds, vocabulary, reading comprehension, language organization, writing, reading, math, among others.
ELL students have goals as in each classroom and each time a student achieves a goal for the lesson or week they receive recognition, as we use these goals to encourage students to continue to engage in the activities we do on a daily basis.
We also work on Social-Emotional skills using MELA Tickets, when the student demonstrates the expectations of being Mindful, Empathetic, Leader and Accountability. These Tickets are taken by the students to their classrooms and are placed in MELA ticket boxes. These are counted at the end of the month in order to celebrate their growth on a regular basis.