New Lebanon offers a robust English Language Learning (ELL) program to a diverse group of k - 5 students, representing a variety of cultural backgrounds and circumstances: immigrants, families on temporary foreign assignment, refugees, or native-born Americans of different language heritages. The New Lebanon ELL staff provide comprehensive, sheltered English language instruction targeting speaking, listening, reading and writing as well as critical thinking skills. They also provide content area instructional support in the ESOL and mainstream classrooms, customized to students’ linguistic proficiency and specific academic needs. Our goal is to foster English Language Learners’ (ELLs) social and academic language acquisition and cultural awareness, so that they can become successful, open-minded thinkers, inquirers and communicators, essential traits of an International Baccalaureate (IB) learner.
New Lebanon School offers a unique Spanish language and literacy development bilingual program in K-2, as part of its ESOL services. Students who qualify to receive ESOL services and display a higher Spanish language oral proficiency are eligible to participate in the Spanish literacy development bilingual program. This program begins in kindergarten and continues through second grade for 40 minutes daily. In kindergarten, bilingual students begin to learn Spanish phonemic awareness, the phonetic system and emergent reading skills. In first grade, bilingual students continue to develop their Spanish reading skills. Instruction is primarily delivered through guided reading using Spanish leveled books and shared reading experiences. In second grade, students continue to develop their decoding and comprehension skills during a 25 minute instructional period, 4 times per week. In many cases, bilingual students in 2nd grade finish off the year, completely bilingual and biliterate. Year after year, students who participate in this Spanish literacy bilingual program often times surpass their English language learning peers who are only focused on learning English. The majority of the students in the bilingual program successfully exit ESOL services at the completion of their 1st or 2nd grade year.