Working with Limited English Proficient Students: Input from the Field on a High School Newcomer Program
Munoz, Marco A.
Louisville, KY: Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), VanHoose Education Center
2000, 17 pages
While the number of limited English proficient (LEP) students has grown nationwide, these students' academic achievement levels have lagged significantly behind those of their language majority peers. Dropout rates among LEP students are also high. The Newcomer Program within Kentucky's Jefferson County Public Schools is a full-day transitional English as a Second Language (ESL) program for newly arrived immigrant and refugee high school students. ESL teachers and bilingual associate instructors and teaching assistants share with the regular classroom teacher the responsibility of educating LEP students. This program offers students instruction in English as well as content classes with support in their native languages. It provides students with not just intensive language instruction, but also a safe educational environment in which to acquire basic academic and school survival skills. The Newcomer Program is characterized by an orientation to school, community, and society; an emphasis on English language development; and bilingual staff specifically trained to meet the needs of newcomer students. Evaluation of the program included classroom observations, focus group interviews with students, informal interviews with faculty and administrators, and student language testing. Results found that the Newcomer Program is meeting its goals of preparing students for mainstream classrooms. (SM) (ERIC No. ED463366)