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By MELISSA MURRELL
English as a Second Language class is designed to give students from other countries the chance to learn the school’s curriculum, just in a different way.
According to the Johnson City School system, a district policy admits students regardless of their immigration status.
As some students are the first in the family to get an education, asking no questions makes it a safe environment for any student of any nation.
The program begins when the students involved in the schools take a test to see how much English they know and what kind of education they have. The school then grades their assignments and decides whether to put students in Transition 1 or Transition 2 of the ESL class. The students then have full access to the school's core curriculum and can get an education, just like any other student in the school.
Students who are registering in this district must complete a survey where three questions are asked: “What is the first language this child learned to speak? What language does this child speak outside of school? What language do people usually speak in this child’s home?”
If there is any answer other than English on the survey, students are required to take a Tennessee English Language Placement Assessment. Once the students start in school they are required to take all the same required classes as any other student, such as math, languag arts and social sciences, but the ESL students may be exempt from the language classes depending on their progress in the ESL classroom.
Once a student completes both the classes,or feels they know enough of the English language to be in a regular classroom or be in the real world, they take an exit exam. Once their test reaches a certain score they are released from the program.
To be an English as a Second Language teacher, the Tennessee Department of Education requires a master’s or doctorate in education, public policy or a related field. The teacher must also have strong verbal and written skills, and must be able to work with cross-departmental teams. Experience or knowledge of public school systems and federal programs is desirable, because the Department of Education wants teachers to understand their students.