The mission of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program in Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools is to teach all English Language Learners (ELL) through context, content, and real-life situations at their ability level to become successful in both academic and social situations while maintaining a sense of identity and pride.
There are many students in our district who do not speak English as their first language. There are also many students who do not speak their families' language at home and prefer to speak English. Each student will remain in the program until they demonstrate academic language fluency equal to a mono-linguistic peer.
Our students come to us from around the globe. We have students from many countries, including China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mexico, Russia, Somalia, Kazakhstan, Estonia, India, Korea, the Ukraine, Belarusia, Taiwan, Egypt and many more. Some of these students have arrived in the United States as a result of war. Others are children of parents who have come to the United States to pursue work or educational opportunities.
An English Language Learner in our district may be highly literate in their first language and have extensive academic knowledge, having attended school in their home country. Other students may have never had an opportunity to attend school.
Our EL teachers focus on vocabulary development, grammar and making highly academic English discussions more accessible to students. Students are assessed one time per year to measure their academic English proficiency in Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Social Language.
All of our students need a strong command of the English language in order to achieve academically. The English Language Learner program supports development of English competence needed for academic success and for life in a literate culture.