Educating Students About English
Williamson County Schools (WCS) provides English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction for students who qualify as English Learners. Federal and state laws, as well as WCS School Board policies, guide the purpose, structure and content of this program.
The mission of the Williamson County ESL Department is to meet the needs of English Language Learners and help them achieve the high academic standards expected of all students. Our program educates and acculturates ESL students in a way that respects individual diversity, ability, intellect, and character.
The ESL Department provides English classes to all non-native English speakers. We support students and teachers through a variety of services including pull-out programs, daily ESL classes, inclusion, and/or other appropriate resources. All our classes are available to any WCS student who has been designated as an English Language Learner.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does my child qualify for ESL services?
How does my child exit the ESL program?
How long will my student need ESL services?
What is taught in ESL class?
What are my rights as a parent of an ESL student?
What can I do at home?
The purpose of the ESL program is reflected in the Student Programming Goal of the WCS School Board’s Strategic Plan: to offer high-quality, equitable student programming and facilities to produce graduates prepared to further study and compete in a global society by being fluent in English.
The mission of the WCS ESL Department is to meet the language needs of English Learners and help them achieve the high academic standards expected of all students.
Goals and Content
The ESL program educates English Learners in a way that respects individual diversity, ability, intellect and character. The ESL Department provides English classes to non-native English speakers who qualify for services. The department supports students and teachers through a variety of services including pull-out programs, scheduled ESL classes, inclusion support and other appropriate resources.
According to state law, content-area classroom teachers will modify to the point that the ESL student can be successful in the class. Possible modifications include:
- Environment (peers, strategic seating)
- Instruction (using visuals, speaking slowly and clearly, simplifying instructions, practicing behavior management)
- Materials and Assessment (adapt homework, tests, assignments; allow extra time, shorter assignments/tests; no essays or simplified essays; allow illustrations and labeling to assess)
Other Support Services
As with all students, ESL students may be eligible for other support services if necessary. These may include one or more of the following:
- Reading and Math specialists
- Speech specialists
- Special education
- Learning labs
- Homework clubs
Students in grades 9-12 are required to pass state-mandated tests in order to receive a high school diploma. The expected graduation rate is 100%.
Students in grades 2-8 are required to take state-mandated achievement tests.
All of these services are available to any WCS student who has been identified as an English Learner by the approved Tennessee Department of Education language proficiency screener or assessment. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of students at each level of English proficiency through:
- English reading, writing, grammar, listening and speaking skills
- one-on-one or small group instruction
- daily ESL classes for credit in high schools
- curriculum that corresponds to WCS Scope and Sequence
- close collaboration with classroom teachers
- vocabulary building and communication techniques
- materials and strategies according to student needs
- Tennessee Department of Education: English Learners
For adults who need English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), please contact:
Adult ESOL Classes
Workforce Essentials Adult Education
118 Seaboard Lane, Suite 109
Franklin, TN 37067