English as a Second Language

Mrs. Holmsen


What is ESL?

ESL (English as a Second Language) is a state mandated support service provided to help English Language Learners (ELLs) gain the necessary skills needed to be successful in the mainstream classroom. ESL instruction focuses on developing English language proficiency in all four-language skills: Listening, Speaking,Reading, and Writing, while differentiating instruction with comprehensive input and hands-on, audio-visual, and kinesthetic activities.

Who teaches ESL?

Mrs. Holmsen teaches ESL. This is her 7th year teaching ESL in the district. She has taught at Lake Parsippany School, East Lake, and Knollwood School. She is excited to work with the wonderful students here at Lake Hiawatha School!

Will my child be placed in the ESL Program?

Upon registration for school, all parents fill out a “Home Language Survey.” If it is determined that your child hears or uses a language other than English more than 50% of the time at home, he or she will be tested and may qualify for ESL. If your child qualifies for ESL services, a letter will be sent home.

What do students do in ESL?

If your child qualifies for ESL, ESL instruction will be built into their schedule for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. ESL students can be grouped into their classes according to language proficiency and/or grade level. ESL might take place in your child’s grade level classroom or in Mrs. Holmsen’s classroom. In the small group setting, the focus for ESL students is to reinforce grade level skills that are being practiced in their grade level classroom/homeroom. Mrs. Holmsen works closely with the grade level teachers to be able to help support the students on  tasks completed in their homeroom classes as well as English based practice involving reading skills, writing skills, listening skills, speaking skills, and vocabulary mastery. Throughout the school year Mrs. Holmsen will help to strengthen your child’s language skills by using visuals, language based learning activities, providing content area support, and modifying reading/writing workshops.

How is student progress monitored in ESL?

In the Spring, your child’s English proficiency will be re-evaluated through an assessment provided by the state called the WIDA ACCESS Test. The test scores will be released at the start of the following school year to help us provide the proper ESL support and scheduling. In September, letters will be sent home with test score reports indicating whether your child is exiting or continuing the program.

Helpful Tips for Parents of ESL Students:

-Always try to check your emails and attend all parent-teacher conferences.

-Read and speak with your child in English and/or your native language every day. Both are important and help children’s cognitive development!

-Please email Mrs. Holmsen ([email protected]) in whichever language you are comfortable with. She will always do her best to respond and help assist you.

-If you need a translator, just ask! We have many languages available to help you

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