ELL/ESL Program

ELL/ESL Program

What is the Pioneer Academy Intensive ELL Program?

The Pioneer Academy Intensive English Language Learning (IELL) Department was developed to assist students in moving from low-intermediate English proficiency to a proficiency level that will allow them the chance to succeed in regular college-preparatory classes. Students study Reading & Literature, Academic Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking, Grammar & Writing, IELTS / TOEFL test preparation and other primary subject courses. All courses are designed to prepare students for the rigorous coursework of college preparatory classes they will encounter after graduating from the Pioneer Academy Intensive ELL Program. While in the ELL program, students will be expected to learn and adapt to a North American style school system as well as the language and culture of the English-speaking United States. Students will be held to high standards of behavior and academia, and will be expected to perform at a level of excellence.

How are students evaluated for the Intensive ELL Program?

International students wishing to enter Pioneer Academy must first take a TOEFL Junior placement test to determine their English proficiency level.  Students scoring below the requisite English proficiency level for regular college-preparatory classes will then be recommended for ELL classes.  Students will be given three more TOEFL Junior tests during the program: one at the end of the first quarter, one at the end of the second quarter, and one at the end of the fourth quarter.  Passing any of these tests is a prerequisite but is not limited in allowing students to graduate from the ELL program into the regular college-preparatory curriculum.

What if I have had little or no exposure to English?  Can I still enter the ELL Program?

All prospective students with a mother tongue other than English will be required to take the placement test.  Those scoring within a predetermined range will be recommended for the ELL program.  Those scoring above this range will be recommended for regular college-preparatory classes.  Those scoring below this range will not be recommended for the program, as it is unlikely that they will have the necessary amount of time to advance to the required proficiency level within the one-year span of the ELL program.  However, for prospective students wishing to enter the program against the recommendations of the ELL Department, admittance into a two-year ELL Program may be possible.

What makes the Pioneer Intensive ELL Program different from other ELL/ESL programs?

The Intensive ELL Program at Pioneer Academy is an intensive, practicality-based one-year English Language Learning program.  Students entering the program will take classes with professional ELL instructors who will immerse them in an all-English curriculum covering information and content most immediately useful in daily life and in academics. Instructors conduct engaging, highly interactive, efficient classes focused on providing the vocabulary, phraseology, and cultural understanding necessary for students to understand, communicate, and become independent learners.  For motivated students, this can be a life-changing experience that will give them the tools they need to achieve the excellence for which they strive and become great scholars, professionals, and human beings. Students will learn the most common vocabulary and the most common communicative language patterns that they can apply to almost every situation they encounter in student life.  The curriculum model is based on a combination of the NJ Student Learning Standards (SLS) for World Languages and the rigorous NY English as a Second Language Standards.  The research, resources and experience of traditional programs are combined with the results-based focus of ELL programs for professionals.

Can I really succeed in a US college-prep high school program?

The Pioneer Academy Intensive ELL Department is dedicated to providing ELL students with the knowledge, resources, techniques, and confidence to enter regular college-preparatory classes with the full potential to succeed.  We believe that anyone can master a language and our ELL/ESL staff has decades of experience helping thousands of students do just that.  Graduating from the ELL Program at Pioneer Academy means that the ELL Department is confident in our students ability to succeed in the college–preparatory program; nevertheless, it will be the students’ decision to apply what they have learned and persist in their pursuit of excellence to graduate from Pioneer Academy ready to enter the college or university of their choice.  If the students are unafraid of hard work and have the motivation and discipline to consistently do their very best, then our students have the potential to succeed at Pioneer Academy!

 

Academics

ELL Year One (ELL09, One- and Two-Year Program)

 

ELL I                 ELL Foundations I (ELL09)

The ELL Foundations Course is the primary course of academic and daily practical communication.  This course combines practice for all language skills into one integrated course encompassing listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and other essential skills. This course allows students to practice these skills in various situations across multiple disciplines.  This multi-pronged approach allows students to review, utilize and apply what they have learned in one area of study and apply it to other areas of study to reinforce and accelerate language proficiency.  This course utilizes a textbook, a workbook, additional worksheets, ELL learning DVDs, listening CDs, and other interactive tools.

This course will be taught by a certified ELL Instructor.

 

ELL I                 ELL Listening & Speaking (ELL09)

The ELL Listening and Speaking Course focuses on elevating and expanding both situational comprehension and unscripted conversational ability in a wide range of environments.  Focus is primarily on classroom interaction, note-taking and dictation, conversation with instructors and classmates, presentations, and interviews. It also includes practical communication for daily life such as shopping, telephone calls, and requesting and giving directions.

This course will be taught by a certified ELL instructor.

 

ELL I                   ELL Reading & Literature (ELL09)

The ELL Reading and Literature Course provides views and insights into Native-English-Speaking culture, exposing students to the nuance and sensibility of works written in English from the very simple to the moderately complex.  At the same time, it requires student practice with the structures, grammatical patterns and vocabulary of the English Language, thereby increasing vocabulary and preparing them for writing.  Students improve comprehension naturally through highlighted language patterns and discussion about the texts. In the first half of the year (reading) the focus is on basic reading ability and comprehension; in the second half of the year (literature) the focus is on reading for content analysis and discussions about the implications of the text. The course includes an in-class intensive reading program (Penguin readers) and an independent extensive reading program (Oxford readers) that gives students ample opportunities to improve their English reading proficiency level.

This course will be taught by a certified ELL Instructor.

 

ELL I                           ELL Academic Vocabulary (ELL09)

ELL Academic Vocabulary is a vocabulary enhancement course that has the objective of increasing students’ vocabulary as quickly and effectively as possible both inside and outside of the classroom. Students will be required to memorize spelling, meaning, and usages of the most commonly used English words as collected from comprehensive mainstream corpora. Vocabulary is based on three corpora based lists: GSL (General Service List), IVL (Irregular Verbs List), AWL (Academic Word List). These lists cover vocabulary in a variety of contexts with specific focus such as irregular verbs, academic words, and the most common words of the language in order of usage frequency. Mastery of these vocabulary lists will prepare students for daily life and academic success in cross curriculum studies. The course will also provide test-taking strategies, and practice for the IELTS / TOEFL English tests. Students are required to utilize dictionaries, Internet resources, study guides, and school provided textbooks to complete coursework.  Students learn spelling, contextual usage, and research skills while increasing their vocabularies and usage ability.

This class will be taught by a certified ELL instructor.

 

ELL I                           ELL Grammar & Writing (ELL09)

The ELL Grammar and Writing Course provides students with the most practical grammar patterns and teaches the application of the same in various contexts.  While the course also provides analytical grammatical instruction, this is not the primary focus.  Students will be exposed to the various patterns of grammar in use and will learn to identify meaning, nuance, and implication based upon grammar structures.  This will transition into basic essay writing for both formal and informal situations.  Students will learn to correct grammar mistakes, use the most appropriate structures and registers, write reports, and keep a journal. This class will be taught by a certified ELL instructor.

 

ELL I                   ELL U.S. History (ELL09)

While provided within the context of History, the ELL U.S. History course is an ELL course, teaching the basics of United States history while familiarizing students with the phraseology and vocabulary of history to prepare them for regular-stream history classes.  Students will perform similar tasks to those required in regular-stream classes, though the instructor will use ELL principles and place more weight on the ability of students to communicate ideas and present facts in a coherent manner as would be required in regular History classes.

This class will be taught by a History instructor in consultation with the ELL Department.

 

ELL I                   ELL Sciences (ELL09)

ELL Sciences is a course that teaches the basics of integrated science while familiarizing students with the phraseology and vocabulary of science to prepare them for regular-stream science classes.  Students will perform similar tasks to those required in regular-stream classes, such as laboratory experiments and laboratory reports; however, the instructor will use ELL principles and place more weight on the ability of students to use logic, present facts, and communicate ideas in a coherent manner as would be required in regular science classes.

This class will be taught by a science instructor in consultation with the ELL Department.

ELL I                  ELL Math (ELL09)

The ELL Math course is essentially a regular mathematics class that includes additional instruction for mathematical vocabulary, notation conventions, and word problems.  The first quarter will focus on math vocabulary and quantitative reasoning while the remaining three quarters will concentrate on basic Algebra. Students are encouraged to advance as far as possible in their mathematics pursuits and may place out into regular stream mathematics classes prior to advancing from the ELL Program.

This course will be taught by a mathematics instructor in consultation with the ELL Department.

 

ELL I                   ELL Physical Education (ELL09)

The ELL Physical Education Course is essentially identical to the regular-stream Physical Education Course for native-English speakers and domestic students.  Classes are taught in English and students are expected to interact and follow instructions in English based upon observation, mimicry, physical response, and contextual learning.

This course will be taught by a Physical Education instructor.

 

ELL Year Two (ELL10, Two-Year Program) 

These supplementary courses are intended to give English language support for international students enrolled in regular stream courses.

ELL II                   Testing Proficiency

One of the most commonly accepted standardized tests for international students seeking enrollment at American colleges and universities is the IELTS.  This comprehensive exam demonstrates a student’s English proficiency. This course is designed to prepare students for this vital exam. Students will learn the structure of the exam, patterns of questions, and test-taking strategies.  Students will take multiple practice tests during the year to monitor their progress.

 

ELL II                   Advanced ELL Skills (ELL10)

Pre-requisite: Foundations I

Like its counterpart Foundations I, this course combines practice for all language skills into one integrated course encompassing listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and other essential skills. This course also allows students to practice these skills in various situations across multiple disciplines.  Students are challenged through the use of more complex texts and longer listening passages, reinforcing the grammar learned in Foundations I.  This material can be applied to other areas of study to reinforce and accelerate language proficiency for success in regular stream classes.

 

ELL II                  Composition I and II (ELL10)

The ELL II Composition Courses provide students with a more in-depth understanding of the writing process.  This process includes brainstorming, outlining, drafting, proofreading, peer editing, and publishing.  Students read model essays, imitating the style and applying concepts learned to write original paragraphs and academic essays. Students build upon grammar topics learned in ELL I into more intricate writing assignments.  Special emphasis is given to proper usage of parts of speech, sentence structure and phrases, and subject content.

ELL II                  Intermediate ELL Vocabulary (ELL10)

Pre-requisite: Academic Vocabulary

In this course, intermediate level students are exposed to a variety of new words and are expected to use these terms correctly in context.  This includes definitions, content knowledge of parts of speech, proper usage, and distinguishing tone and meaning.  Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the essential vocabulary words used in academic English and IELTS & TOEFL level materials.

ELL II                  Advanced ELL Vocabulary (ELL11)

Pre-requisite: Academic Vocabulary

In this course, students are exposed to a variety of more advanced words and are expected to use these terms correctly in context.  This includes definitions, content knowledge of parts of speech, proper usage, and distinguishing tone and meaning.  Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the essential vocabulary words used in academic English and IELTS & TOEFL level materials.

ELL II                   Test Preparation (IELTS & TOEFL) (ELL11)

The most commonly accepted standardized tests for international students seeking enrollment at American colleges and universities are the TOEFL and IELTS.  These exams demonstrate a student’s English proficiency. This course is designed to prepare students for these exams.  Students will learn the structure of the exam, patterns of questions, and test-taking strategies.  Students complete regular practice tests in order to monitor progress.

 

For more details and information about the Pioneer Academy Intensive ELL Program, please contact the head of the ELL and World Languages Department.