Services for English Language Development
The Lebanon School District has a long and proud history of teaching the English language to students who speak a language other than English. English language development (ELD) instruction began in our district in the mid 1960’s, however students from many language backgrounds attended the Lebanon City schools since the district was founded.
During the 1960’s children from several Greek families were the first students to receive ESD services. By the end of the decade, two full-time ESD teachers were providing instruction to our growing population of non-English speaking students. Over the years, students from five continents and several island states have settled in Lebanon and learned how to speak, comprehend, read and write English with the help of Lebanon School District’s ESD teachers and staff.
Since the 1999-2000 school year, students speaking twenty-one different languages have enrolled in the Lebanon School District, and the number of English language learners receiving ESD instruction reached 550 this year. Presently, there are eighteen teachers, four aides, one tutor and two teaching assistants providing ESL instruction in all eight of the district’s schools. Additionally, a program director coordinates the district-wide English language acquisition program and a program assistant manages student records and data and assists with registration and communication.
English Language Development (ESD) is the name of the Lebanon School District’s program that provides this specialized instruction to the English language development in kindergarten through grade twelve. All the teachers in the ESD Department have earned the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s ESD Program Specialist Certification, and most have acquired a master’s degree with a specialization in teaching English as a second language.
At the elementary level, an English language learner may receive ELD instruction thirty minutes to three hours each day; depending upon the child’s level of English language proficiency. The child receives instruction in the regular classroom when not scheduled for ELD lessons.
The ELD Program at the Lebanon Middle School is similar to the instruction provided at the elementary level with additional instruction in a sheltered math ELD class for those students who are recent arrivals. All English language learners receive tutorial support in their regular academic classes.
At Lebanon High School non-English speakers, or newcomers, receive approximately ninety minutes of intensive ELD instruction each day. The newcomers, or the students who have been living in the states for less than a year, are also are enrolled in specialized ELD courses in science, social studies, and computer technology. There are plans to implement sheltered math ELD courses for these students next year. Similar to the Middle School program, students receive tutoring in their regular academic subjects. As students gain proficiency in English, ELD instructional time is reduced until formal ELD instruction is discontinued. However, tutorial help with academic subjects could continue.
ELD services may be completely discontinued at all grades when the student meets the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s criteria for exiting the English language acquisition program. Upon exiting, the academic progress of the student is monitored for two years to assure the student can function independently in the regular academic classes.