FAQs: A Parent's Guide

Answers About Your Child Learning English at School

Your Child's Teacher

How will the teacher keep my child confident in their English learning?

--> The teachers will ask questions that respect how much English your child already knows. As your child learns more English, the questions will become more advanced.

Will the teacher focus more on English learning or subject learning for my child?

-->The teacher will try to teach language as they are teaching the content. For example, if the child is learning math, the teacher will teach your child the math unit and the language used in the math class.

How will the teacher correct my student when he/she is wrong when speaking?

--> The teacher will try to get your child to correct themselves without giving them the right answer. They will let the student know they are wrong, and then work with them to try to find the correct answer.

How will the teacher help my child improve his/her writing skills?

-->The teacher will teach your child to self- edit. The best way to learn is for a child to correct themselves, so this is the final goal for the teacher.

How will the teacher help my child outside of the classroom?

-->If you let them, your child's teacher will schedule a home visit to see what your child is like outside of school.This will give the teacher a better idea as to how well your child speaks English or your native language outside of school.

How can I help my child to read at home?

-->If you read to your child or have your child read to you, it does not matter what language they are reading in. The most important thing is that your child is reading.

How do I find out how my student is doing in school?

-->The teachers of your child will write down how your child is doing. They will then give this information to a person that will tell you in your language how your child is doing.

Can we visit the school to see how our child is doing?

--> Yes, you can visit the school anytime. Your child will set goals for the year, and show you what they have done as the year goes on in a presentation just for your family. THis is called an "exhibition."

How can I help my child to remember their home language?

--> Keep speaking your home language to your child. This will help them to keep this language, and learn English as well.

How often will my child be in the main classroom?

--> Your student will be in the main classroom for the entire day, except when they are pulled out for their ESOL classes.

How are assessments graded?

-->Using the WIDA model, your child is graded using a number scale that represents what they know in English. This score is given based on their performance on the test.

How is my child’s English ability assessed in testing?

-->Using the WIDA model, your child’s English ability is decided based on the six “WIDA language proficiency scales”. The scales, starting from the lowest level, are entering, beginning, developing, expanding, bridging, and reaching.

How is the content on tests decided?

-->The new assessment system follows the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The tests include response and performance items. Tests require that students have some sort of command in written and oral language in English.

Are children with different levels of English ability given different tests?

-->New tests have been made that separate ELL students into three sections: beginner (A), intermediate (B), and advanced (C). The students are tested on writing, reading, speaking, and listening. A is the lowest level of ability, and C is the highest.

What type of extra help can my child get when they take a test?

-->Accommodations are available for ELL students during tests. Extra help could include extra time to take the assessment, a reader who reads the English material out loud, and some questions are changed to respect how much English vocabulary a child has.