English Learner Education

The Braintree Public Schools, in keeping with Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) Chapter 71A places all students in classrooms in which the language of instruction is English and provides a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) program to English learners to ensure their academic success.

Sheltered English Immersion Program

The SEI program advances social and academic language development and academic achievement for English language learners (ELLs) in four learning domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. 

SEI has two components:

English Language Development Instruction

Which is explicit, direct instruction about the English language intended to promote English language acquisition by ELL students and to help them “catch up” to their student peers who are proficient in English. This instruction follows the WIDA standards for ELLs that were adopted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and are tied to the Common Core State Standards. English Language Development (ELD) instruction addresses social and academic vocabulary, grammar and syntax commonly used in both social and academic communication, habits and norms of social and academic interaction in American schools, and strategies that promote second language learning and content learning. 

In our ELD classrooms, learning takes place when there is sustained verbal interaction, often in small groups, as the students complete carefully designed academic tasks that include speaking, listening, reading and writing. Effective ELD instruction is often characterized by the use of thematic units, project-based instruction, and language instruction closely aligned with grade-appropriate content standards.

Sheltered Content Instruction

Which is the instruction that includes approaches, strategies, and methodology that make the content of the lesson more comprehensible to students who are not yet proficient in English. Sheltered content classes are characterized by active engagement with ELL students, language objectives that address the linguistic requirements of the content to be taught (e.g. content vocabulary), and content objectives based on standards from the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks. 

Features of sheltered content instruction are as follows:

  • A clear and explicit explanation of academic tasks
  • Content that is adapted, including texts, assignments, and assessments and presentation of content in all modalities within the student’s English proficiency level
  • Frequent opportunities for interaction and discussion between teacher/student and among students that encourage elaborated responses by students about lesson concepts
  • Regular opportunities for students to practice and apply new language and content knowledge in English
  • Supplementary materials that support content objectives and contextualize learning. Examples of these materials include hands-on manipulatives, pictures, visuals, multimedia, demonstrations, adapted text, and graphic organizers
  • The teaching of vocabulary and the teaching of content
  • The use of speech appropriate for students’ English proficiency level

English Learner Parent Advisory Council

English Learner Parent Advisory Council (ELPAC) involvement includes:

  • Advising the district in developing its English Learner Education program
  • Meeting 3 to 4 times per year
  • Parents of English Learners working with the ELE coordinators in setting up an EL Parent Advisory Council

If you are interested, please contact Karen Baho, Elementary English Learner Coordinator.