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English Language Development

Vida Charter School enrolls a high percentage of students identified as English Learners in comparison with other local schools. At Vida, second language learning is at the core of our schoolwide design of bilingual instruction. The school’s dual language model, our curriculum, and our teaching methods are consistently focused on strategies to support students learning grade level academic content in a second language. 

This model of English Language Development is distinctly different from the traditional English-only school model where support for second language learners may be an afterthought. In other schools, English Learners are typically pulled out of their classrooms for periods of intervention time, segregated from their classmates for a block of English language instruction. Often that instruction is unrelated to the students’ regular classroom learning, and students may miss key concepts and opportunities to engage with their peers as a result.

As demonstrated by research on Dual Language, our model of instruction is proven to help English Learners develop English proficiency and literacy more quickly compared to the “pull-out” model of instruction in an English-only school setting. Furthermore, our Spanish-speaking English Learners serve as role models and experts during the Spanish half of their school day, which contributes to their sense of pride in their own linguistic and cultural heritage.

As a public school, Vida identifies students with a Home Language Other than English upon enrollment in the school, and when required, screens students for English proficiency. When a student is identified as an English Learner based upon the screening, the families are notified and the English Learner teacher and classroom teachers begin designing additional in-classroom supports and strategies. All English Learners are assessed annually in the winter months for their academic English Proficiency in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, until they reach the state-defined proficiency level to exit their English Learner status. Annual proficiency testing results.are shared with families, typically in June.