The English as a Second Language Program is designed for non-native speakers of English who need to improve their English proficiency. The program introduces and develops structures of the English language through the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The variety of instructional methods is designed to meet the learning needs of each student and allows the students to work at their own ability level. There are four levels of English as a Second Language instruction: beginning, pre-intermediate, intermediate and advanced. Course placement is determined using the TOEFL Junior test.
Beginners concentrate on communicative competence, basic grammar and writing skills. The advanced course focuses on developing more sophisticated language skills through a variety of oral, writing, and reading assignments. There is a focus on skills needed for success on the TOEFL test and a cultural component is also included in the coursework.
Students in beginner and pre-intermediate levels take ESL science and history courses to further support their English development and prepare them to mainstream into classes with native speakers. Students in the intermediate and advanced levels are mainstreamed into the regular curriculum in all other areas so that they may qualify for an accredited high school diploma. The intention is to immerse the students in the English language and American culture and to prepare them for academic and social success at The Phelps School and at an American college or university. Exemption from the ESL program is determined by the Phelps Academic Council and the student’s placement scores.