Summer English Language Learner (SELL) Program is a Fun, No-Risk Environment that Previews and Promotes Language Learning

It was another special and successful summer for the Summer English Language Learner (SELL) program held at Bishop this past July. This year thirty-five Incoming ELL students entering grades one through four participated in this school-year extension that provided structure to the complex language learning process through additional direct instruction in breaking down content concepts and language skills. The program is a fun, engaging, low-risk environment where students whose proficiency is either some or no English at all can feel safe to use the language.

 The young participants worked together by grade level and the SELL team of classroom teachers enjoyed the flexibility of being able to creatively teach their students through hands-on activities that enabled them to learn language and content. This summer’s themes included games and sports. As they have in other years, Curious Creatures, an educational live animal program based in Groveland, Massachusetts, brought a range of animals to visit. This delighted the students, who were allowed to hold many of them.

 The teaching team of Ms.Siobhan Foley, Ms.Candace Lillis, and Ms.Lisa Reinelt was supplemented by four amazing high school volunteers. Their participation supporting the students and teachers enabled them to complete all their high school volunteer hours.

 Targeting language and literacy development for APS newcomer students, SELL provides these children with a preview of what school is like in the United States. English Language Learners Director Carla Bruzzese reports that this is appreciated by parents. Families also like the fact that their children are able to make new friends and connections in a small, supportive environment before the full school year begins, reducing some of the fear associated with this process. Click here to learn more about the district English Language Learners program.

SELL classroom view with teacher holding book