English Language Learners

Special Programs – ELL

English Language Learners

“Language shapes the way we think, and determines what we can think about.”
Benjamin Le Whorf

“Language tethers us to the world; without it we spin like atoms.”
Penelope Lively

Manitou Springs operates our services for English Language Learners on a very individualize basis. Most of the time, some form of tutoring in English acquisition happens during the school day. Depending on the age of the student, support for academics could happen with the help of someone who speaks the student’s native language. All students who come to Colorado schools speaking a language other that English are screened to determine their English proficiency. These results are reported to the Colorado Department of Education and tracked over time to ensure that students are given the opportunity to acquire English as quickly as possible.
As we think about language acquisition, there are two major thresholds for student success. The first is BICS – Basic Interpersonal Conversations Skills. At this stage the student has basic vocabulary and is able to communicate with peers. On average, students require 1 to 3 years speaking the new language to reach this stage. Unfortunately, this ability does not mean that a student can understand academic terms or that they have the cognitive language skills necessary to succeed in the regular curriculum without support. That stage is called CALP or Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, and can take up to seven years of learning the new language to acquire.

Useful Links:
Final Guidebook
Home Language Form
Recursos en Español

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