The philosophy of the English Learners (EL) Program of the School District of the City of York is based on the following principles:
- Language acquisition takes time: approximately one to two years for conversation skills, five to seven years for academic skills comparable to English speakers, and seven to 10 years for those that began in U.S. schools in kindergarten.
- Language proficiency is acquired through active, functional and meaningful participation, not by learning rules about the English language.
- Language is acquired in an atmosphere of trust, acceptance, high expectations and support.
- Acquisition must be built on the student’s previous experiences and knowledge.
- The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are interdependent and reinforce each other in language acquisition.
- Teachers, students and parents working together in an environment of mutual respect will bring forth positive changes in the acquisition process.
- EL planned instruction addresses the PDE language proficiency standards. EL planned instruction is designed as a scaffold for entering, beginning, developing, expanding and bridging EL students as they transition into the general curriculum (planned instruction). It is aligned with PA Common Core and WIDA standards.
- Communication with parents of EL students is essential to engage them as partners in the education process.
- EL teachers will work collaboratively with classroom teachers.
- All students will be provided with an equal opportunity and access to participate and be successful in both curricular and extra-curricular activities.