ESL Information

English as a Second Language Program:
Benefits for Your Child


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 limited English proficient (LEP) students of the same language enrolled in the same grade in the district.
  • In middle school and high school when there are LEP 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?
Students in prekindergarten through high school who speak or hear a language other than English in their home and who are not fluent English-speakers
What is an ESL program?
  • An ESL program provides intensive instruction that develops listening, speaking, reading and writing proficiencies 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 Elementary ESL program teaches language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies using strategies and methodologies appropriate for second language acquisition.

    A Secondary ESL program teaches language arts using strategies and methodologies appropriate for second language acquisition. Math, science and social studies courses are supported through the implementation of the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS).
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., Art, and other electives are all part of the balanced curriculum that students in the program are required to receive.
Who is responsible for teaching in 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.
  • Both English Language Arts and ESL focus on the ELA TEKS. Additionally, ESL courses provide language acquisition support.
How can parents of ESL students help support the ESL classroom?
  • Parents can volunteer for classroom activities.
  • Parents can support their student at home by providing a place to study and showing interest in their schoolwork.
  • Parents can ask their student's ESL 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 GISD neighborhood campus. Enrollment requirements, locations, dates and more can be found by visiting the GISD Enrollment Center page.

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