COVINGTON MIDDLE SCHOOL FINE ARTS ACADEMY

English Language Learners

English Language Learners (ELLs) make up approximately 17% of our student body.   They bring diversity, a variety of languages, and rich cultural backgrounds to our campus.  Covington celebrates the value of being bilingual and biliterate in this rapidly changing world, as reflected in significant research in the field of bilingualism and biliteracy supporting the claim that language and literacy development in one language enhances and supports the development of a new language.

 

At Covington, we recognize the importance of effective instruction for our ELL students.  Covington offers many different ways to support ELLs - and all students- for classroom success.   Our English Language Learners receive instructional support through ESL classes, our Dual Language Program, Linguistic Accommodations in every content area, Sheltered Instructional approach across the campus, strategies to build  a Language Rich Classroom, and more.   

 

SUPPORTING ELL COLTS THROUGH THE 6 C’s:

Cultural Proficiency- Our staff recognizes and values students’ diversity of backgrounds and showcases their contributions through several cultural projects (Hispanic Heritage Month, Dia de los Muertos, Language & Culture Discovery Class, Korean Exchange Program, Celebrating Holidays around the World, etc.) and use of native language in written projects and assignments.   At the same time, relationships among students of different backgrounds are fostered. 

 

Connectivity-  As students enter our campus, schedules may be designed to support new arrivals through the buddy system. Cross-cultural competence is fostered even further through our content areas (such as World Cultures) to learn and appreciate students’ customs and values.  SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) aids in developing relationships, acceptance, and appreciation of others. 

 

Collaboration-   A wide range of student collaborative learning structures (integrated within the content areas) contribute to the increase of  student confidence, as they learn from each other and share strengths, challenges, and success. 

 

Critical Thinking-  Critical thinking applications and advanced learning opportunities occur in a variety of ways.  Our current and former ELL students receive the opportunity to receive High School Credit in Spanish through scheduled testing sessions.  Our Dual Language enrichment program offers students at least two content courses taught in Spanish each year, including Spanish for Spanish Speakers and a core content class (science, social studies, or math).

 

Creativity-  The Creative Learning Initiative is embedded into all learning at Covington. Drama based instruction, music and movement, and visual arts are incorporated into many lessons across the curriculum, and explicitly practiced in our Success Advisory Class, with intensive focus on these best practices for ELLs.   In addition,  students who learn in two languages (like our Dual Language students) typically display high levels of creativity, and thus higher academic achievement. 

 

Communication-  Communication is a cornerstone of all learning at Covington, with language experiences structured into all opportunities, fostering student voice and empowerment. Information to parents, such as Monthly Newsletters, phone messengers, and more, are sent in both English and Spanish.  ELL students who need intense linguistic supports attend an ESL class with a specialized educator who provides native language support, explicit English instruction, and builds a bridge among languages so that students can make connections to better understand how languages are structured and organized.  

 

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

Covington follows state and federal standards to identify and serve our English Language Learners through a detailed LPAC (Language Proficiency Assessment Committee) process in order to provide rigorous instructional  support as well as appropriate language and academic evaluations. 

 

RESOURCES:

Multilingual Education Team / Austin ISD

ELL Basics / Colorin Colorado

12 Ways to Support English Learners in the Mainstream Classroom

Austin Independent School District 7/17/09