• Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
     
    My child was born in the United States. Does he/she need to be in ESL?
    • ESL has nothing to do with where the student was born. It has everything to do with the students abilities in ALL four of the areas of language (speaking, listening, reading, and writing). Most of our students are conversational, but lack the vocabulary needed for the rest of their subjects.
    • Remember, conversational English is only about 700 words. The average high school student is expected to approximately 180,000 words.
    I don't want you teaching my child Spanish. Why does he/she need to be in ESL?
    • We do not teach any language, other than English. We have over 30 languages spoken in our ESL program.
    Why are all the Mexican kids automatically put in ESL?
    • They are not. Most of our Mexican population does not receive ESL services. First, they may not receive services because they were already English proficient when they entered school, or second, they do not receive services because they have already graduated from the program.
    Our family is Mexican, why can't my child get into ESL?
    • We do not choose who can and cannot receive services. There are state and federal laws that tell us who we are supposed to test and then decide the process of testing out.
    My child speaks English, why is he/she in ESL?
    • Speaking is only one of the four areas tested. Most ESL students are conversational, but lack grade level academic vocabulary. This causes them to have trouble with reading comprehension and the writing process. In ESL we help student to build those skills by learning additional strategies in those areas and practicing the process at a slower pace, until they can catch up.
    • Remember, conversational English is only about 700 words. The average high school student is expected to approximately 180,000 words.
    If my child was receiving ESL services in another school, will he/she receive services here in Merrillville?
    • Yes. All of that information is available to us through the Indiana Department of Education. As soon as you register your child for school, we can see that your child is an ESL student and continue from there.
    How long will my child be in the ESL Program?
    • Students stay in the ESL program until they receive a level 5/Proficient.
    What are the benefits of participating in the ESL Program?
    • You are a part of a community of students with similar experiences
    • A safe environment to improve your skills
    • Smaller class size
    • More opportunities for extra help in English and in other classes
    • Additional time when taking tests (ECA, ISTEP, GQE, PSAT)
    • Small group testing
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Updated 1/2015