English as a Second Language
Currently in the English as a Second Language program at Norwood high school, there are fifteen students from students from seven different countries: Brazil, Cape Verde, Egypt, Honduras, Korea, Syria, and Uganda. Some students have moved to Norwood, some are here as exchange students and stay only for one year, and others have come from varying lengths of time as a result of their parents' work assignments.
Students are assigned to ESL 1, ESL 2, or ESL 3 based on their level of English proficiency. These classes provide direct instruction and opportunities for students to become more proficient in the four domains of language acquisition: speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Students are assigned to ESL Learning Centers rather than a traditional study hall. The Learning Center provides students an opportunity to get additional support in their academic subjects. In addition, teachers may allow students to come to the ESL room to take tests. This gives the ESL teacher an opportunity to explain the questions in simplified language that helps the ELL student to better comprehend and answer the questions.
Students are also afforded an opportunity to practice the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The TOEFL is a comprehensive assessment of the four domains of language acquisition, and many colleges and universities demand it as part of their admissions requirements.
The goal of the ESL class in addition to English Language Acquisition, is to assist the ELL student in acclimating to a new culture, understanding acceptable social norms, learning to navigate his/her new surroundings, and becoming part of the Norwood High School community by becoming involved in the numerous extracurricular activities.
ELL students are required to compete with their native English speaking peers in all academic areas. They are required to take all MCAS tests, as well as MEPA (Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessments) in Reading and Writing, and MELA-O (Massachusetts English Language Assessment - Oral), an assessment of Speaking and Listening skills. Some ELL students acquire English quickly and are honor roll students.
The ESL class is not for international students, but it is usually recommended by guidance counselors at the time of registration. According to current research, it can take 7 - 10 years to acquire English Language Proficiency. The ESL class provides direct assistance to our international students with acquisition of the English Language.