English as a Second Language (ESL)
Goals and Objectives
Brent offers English as Second Language (ESL) to non-native speakers of English in grades 1-8 whose English Language competency is insufficient for them to be successful in our regular academic program.
The main objective of ESL is to prepare students for entry into the mainstream level of Brent’s regular academic program by fully developing English skills in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Required Levels of English Proficiency
Elementary School: Early Learning Center, Nursery-Grade 2, and Lower School, Grades 3-5
Students in Nursery through Grade 5 can be enrolled at Brent as a beginner in English (ESL Level 1). Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten students are not part of the specific ESL program due to their ages, the content covered, and teaching methods. Our philosophy is that all students are essentially learning English in these young ages even if it is the only language the child knows.
Students requiring support in learning English in grades 1-5 are ESL Level 1 (beginner), Level 2 (intermediate), or Level 3 (advanced). The level of the student is predicted in the admissions process, and then finalized once enrolled. The ESL program increases skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, while focusing on improving academic language in order to best support content learning in the mainstream classes. Students attend an ESL English class while mainstreamed students attend the regular English class with the Homeroom. ESL students are with the mainstream class for all subjects other than English.
Middle School: Grades 6–8
Middle School uses four levels of ESL.
Level 1 applicants (beginners) are not accepted in Middle School.
Applicants must demonstrate at least Level 2 (low intermediate) skills to enter Grade 6 and 7 first semester.
Students entering Grade 7 second semester must be at least Level 3 (high intermediate).
Applicants to Grade 8 must demonstrate at least Level 3 skills for the first semester to be accepted, and Level 4 (advanced) if applying to second semester.
There are English proficiency requirements for Middle School grade levels since students are to be completely mainstreamed in the regular English program by Grade 9.
Upper School: Grades 9–12
Brent does not offer ESL in Upper School. Since students in Grades 9-12 are expected to be fluent in English, applicants are not accepted if their entrance test scores are in the ESL range.
Explanation of ESL Levels for Middle School ESL students
ESL 2 is a low intermediate level for students with basic communication skills but who are generally weak in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students receive support for English, Social Studies and Science classes. Instead of a foreign language, ESL students take an additional English class. All other classes are with the regular mainstream class.
ESL 3 is a high intermediate level for students whose basic communication skills are good, but who still need assistance in strengthening areas such as grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, and reading comprehension. Students receive support for English, Social Studies and Science classes. Instead of a foreign language, ESL students take an additional English class. All other classes are with the regular mainstream class.
ESL 4 is for advanced ESL students. The emphasis is on polishing the student’s academic and presentation skills. Students receive support for English class. Instead of a foreign language, ESL students take an additional English class. All other classes are with the regular mainstream class.