Skip to content
Quick Start for:
Teaching Non-English Speakers

Back to
Bordering the Future

The goal of all bilingual education and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs is the same: the acquisition of English language skills so that language-minority children can succeed in English-only classrooms. There are three traditional approaches to educating students of limited English proficiency. They are "structured English immersion," "early-exit transitional," and "late-exit transitional."

Structured English immersion is a strategy for kindergarten through fourth grade in which English is used almost exclusively. Children are "immersed in English" in this method, and not allowed to use their native language.

Early-exit transitional programs are also for kindergarten through fourth grade, but in these programs, the child's native language is used two-thirds of the time in kindergarten, and the amount of instruction in the native language decreases over time until, by grade five, the child is receiving instruction completely in English.

Late-exit transitional programs use the native language almost exclusively in kindergarten, phasing out its use much more slowly, with complete English instruction beginning in grade seven.

ESL programs are used for older students, usually newly arrived immigrants. These classes are much smaller, more intensive classes that focus primarily on learning English.

Back to
Bordering the Future