Department of Bilingual/ESL Services
43 Crescent Street
Brockton, MA 02301
Kellie Jones, Director of Bilingual Education
Vula Roumis, Department Head K-8
Fernanda Vera-Cruz, Department Head K-8
Cristina DeNovais, Department Head 9-12
Lisa Mosley, Citywide English Language
Assessment Specialist and FLEP Monitor
Welcome to the Brockton Public Schools! The Brockton Public School System has a diverse student population and currently services students from a variety of countries, including Albania, Angola, Brazil, Cambodia, Cape Verde, China, Haiti, India, Korea, Laos, Lithuania, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, and several Spanish-speaking countries. The system is committed to offering the highest quality of educational services to all students, including English language learners. The Department of Bilingual/ESL Services administers programs for English language learners with the goal of developing English language proficiency and achieving state content-area standards, while simultaneously valuing their native languages and cultural backgrounds.
- Core Beliefs
- Benefits of Knowing More than one Language
- Organization and Structure of the Brockton Bilingual Department
The vision of the Department of Bilingual/ESL Services is to enable English language learners to develop the linguistic, academic, cognitive, cultural, and self-concept skills necessary for success in the Brockton Public Schools and in a global society. Through the use of specific English language development methodologies and sheltered content techniques, all bilingual students can attain English language and academic competencies comparable to native English speaking peers. The ability to speak more than one language is a valuable asset, and students will cultivate this ability in a rigorous, yet supportive and understanding, environment.
The ability to speak more than one language is a valuable asset, with direct cognitive, academic, and social benefits. English language learners need to develop the ability to understand, speak, read, and write English with near native proficiency in order to achieve success within the English speaking society. High expectations are held for all students, regardless of the student’s background, language, culture, or academic preparation. Successful programs build on students’ backgrounds and have high academic rigor and expectations, while simultaneously developing English proficiency, content knowledge, and positive self-concept in students. In addition to their academic development, English language learners need support from educational staff in adapting to U.S. cultural, linguistic, school, and social norms.
Brockton Public Schools programs for English language learners promote mastery of the English language in a culturally and linguistically sensitive environment. However, it is important not to neglect a student's first language. Continuing to develop native language at home does not interfere with English language acquisition. In fact, the research shows that it helps the process.
There are many benefits of knowing more than one language. Economically, there is an increased demand for bilingual employees throughout the world. Socially, the United States is a diverse society with many languages and cultures represented. In addition, research shows that knowing more than one language increases a person's thinking abilities. Bilingual students have greater cognitive flexibility, and that flexibility can transfer into academic success.
The center for Applied Linguistics highlights many benefits of knowing more than one language:
- Score up to 250 points higher on their SATs, even after only one year of study
- Perform better on measures of verbal and non-verbal intelligence than their monolingual peers
- Develop greater cultural flexibility and sensitivity towards others
- Have larger vocabularies
- Have higher developed listening and retention skills
- Perform better on tests of reading and math
- Display more highly developed thinking and executive functioning
- Possess skills critical to the national defense
- Will be better prepared to contribute to the ability of local, state and national economies to compete in the global economy
- Health Benefits – decrease rate of Alzheimer's and quicker stroke recovery
The Brockton Public Schools offers a variety of programs for English Language Learners. At the elementary level, English language learners receive sheltered instruction in structured English immersion classrooms. In structured English immersion classrooms, all curriculum materials and instruction are in English, and native language may be used to help clarify concepts and skills when necessary. Teachers make use of specific teaching techniques that assist students in learning English and content skills and concepts. Immersion classrooms with native speaking teachers are available for Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish. In immersion classrooms with low incidence populations, or in classrooms where the teacher does not speak the student's native language, native language support may be provided through teacher aides or liaison personnel.Brockton also offers a Two-Way program in Spanish and English at the Manthala George School.In the fall of 2016, Brockton will be piloting a Portuguese dual immersion program at the Oscar Raymond School.Both programs begin in kindergarten via a lottery and families may enter the lottery when they register their student for kindergarten in the spring.
At the junior high and high school levels, a variety of courses are available to English language learners. These include English as a second language, structured English immersion, and transitional bilingual education classes. English as a second language classes concentrate on the development of English language skills, including reading and writing. Immersion classes teach subject matter using instruction and instructional materials in English, and native language may be used to help clarify concepts and skills when necessary. Transitional bilingual education classes have instructors who speak the students' native languages and may use native language materials to support the attainment subject matter and English language competencies.