World Language/ESL/Bilingual Education
Mrs. Ruth Chang, Supervisor
Samantha D'Agosta, Secretary
The ability to communicate in more than one language expands students’ views as well as educates them to participate in the global community. Developing a strong language proficiency in a world language enhances students’ 21st century skill set so students are more marketable in the areas of trade, business, marketing, national security, military, law, philosophy, STEM, public health, art, film, music, dance, fashion, cuisine. In addition, students gain the personal satisfaction of their ability to understand the perspectives of other people and to communicate with them.
All fourth and fifth grade East Brunswick students study Spanish. When students go to Hammarskjold, they have the option to continue Spanish or begin the study of French, German or Italian. Our full language program continues through the 12th grade. At the high school level, courses include academic level courses in all languages, Spanish Medical Professions Honors, French and Spanish Business Honors, and AP courses for those who meet the requirements. East Brunswick has also just begun to build its Mandarin option for world language.
World Language Proficiency Levels
When studying world language and culture, our goal is to reach the highest proficiency language level possible in a 6-12 environment. The world language program focuses on what the students CAN DO with language. From day one, the students are immersed in listening to and speaking the world language. The classes are rich in activities that promote student acquisition of this language and culture. As the students advance in their studies, they have opportunities to develop global perspectives in business and culture and medical professions. After seven years of study, students are equal to those who can be employed by the Foreign Service. Our students do reach a high level of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy
The Seal of Biliteracy certifies that students are bilingual in English and a second language. Students who are proficient in English and meet Intermediate-Mid proficiency in a world language will receive the NJ Seal of Biliteracy certificate and will have this noted on their high school transcript. This distinction is viewed as an asset when applying for a job or for college admission. Open this brochure for more details: New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy Brochure 2018-2019
World Languages Facilitate Connections
In world language classrooms interdisciplinary connections promote critical thinking, problem solving and knowledge retention. Study of a world language makes it possible so that these skills and knowledge base become the foundation for global interactions. Here are examples of how world language study reinforces other content areas:
- Language Arts/English
- Develop an ability to communicate effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences
- Integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking
- Social studies
- Become interested, informed and active participants in the world both locally and globally
- Develop skills in problem-solving, gathering and interpreting data
- Investigate the natural world in the world cultures studied
- Health education
- Develop awareness of the mental, social, physical and emotional aspects of a healthy individual
- Draw conclusions about cultural comparisons of these aspects
- Technology and computer education
- Engage in hands-on, problem-solving activities related to real-world issues through the use of numerous applications
- Conduct online research to gain insight into products, practices, and perspectives of world cultures
- Use technology to collaborate and problem-solve with native speakers
- Explore the perspective and products of the arts in other cultures
- Express oneself creatively
The English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and Bilingual Education programs serve students who speak languages other than English. The programs are designed to help the students become sufficiently proficient in English to participate in English-language activities. Over 200 students from 16 different language backgrounds are enrolled in our ESL program. The English language learners remain in the program until they are proficient in English. While in ESL, they also attend regular classes in English. Students enter the ESL and bilingual education program after it has been determined through testing that their English proficiency is limited. State guidelines are followed to determine their proficiency level.
Our English language learners are also immersed in the acquisition of English. Teachers work with each student to build his/her language proficiency and also support his/her understanding of the content areas.
I can talk in Spanish!
Students of Spanish in Grade 4 are learning "survival sentences" so that they can communicate in Spanish their needs. Señorita Kosa's game Conectar Cuatro provides them with practice so each student can be successful. At the end of the game, the winner calls out: ¡¡Yo gané!
Celebrating German-American Day
Did you know that October 6 is German- American Day? Students from Frau Franco's German 3 classes at Churchill learned about the contributions of German immigrants to American life and left a greeting with a Tootsie roll - the invention of an Austrian immigrant who named the candy after his daughter- in all teachers' mailboxes. Happy German-American Day! In addition, students in German 5H created and shared picture stories about their vacations.
ESL literacy Event at Irwin Elementary
Our K-7 ESL teachers hosted our first ESL literacy event called, Fall into Reading at Irwin School on October 18th. Ruth Chang, Supervisor of World Languages/ESL/Bilingual Education and her ESL team welcomed over 120 English language learners and their families to engage in literacy building activities. Our community leaders from the East Brunswick Public Library came, too. In addition, our Grade 8-12 team welcomed about 20 students and parents in order to begin the college application process. Finally, we had our first Parent Advisory Committee to listen to the needs of our immigrant population.
German Students Welcome Austrian Ski Instructor at HMS
Herr Lavery, Hammarskjold teacher of German created an opportunity for his students to chat with and learn from a native speaker of German. Lukas Moser, native of Austria, came to share his love of nature. Lukas is a ski instructor and world traveler. With 7th grade students of German, he spoke about his home, Zell am See, a mountain paradise in the Alps. Students then researched his local tourist website and planned possible free-time activities. Sixth graders brought in Autumn leaves and created hedgehogs with leaves as spikes. Herr Moser helped students give personalities to their creations. Unfortunately, Lukas could not stay longer...the ski season is starting soon in Austria!
Students of German Building Bridges of Communication and Understanding
Our high school students of German in Dr. Wehner-Frano's classes welcomed German and French students to remember, discuss and learn the significance of the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49. This airlift was the largest campaign to transport food and goods into an area of Berlin that was blockaded by the Soviet Union. This was part of the Marshall Plan and has since laid the foundation for an enduring friendship between Germans and Americans.
Our world language programs teach our students to be able to communicate in world languages so that they can build bridges of communication and understanding.
Thanks to Goethe Institute, the Airbridge Project Berlin and the German world language program here in East Brunswick High School, this student-to-student connection brought together today's teens to explore perspectives while speaking in German. This visit began with music, dance and conversations so the students were able to get to know each other. Workshops followed in which the students explored the continued meaning and significance of actions like this Airlift.
Our international guests were very impressed with the welcome that they received from our Superintendent, Board members, Assistant-Superintendents, directors, supervisors, and high school administrators.