ESOL Department Getting Back on Track

The ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) Department are classes for students who need extra help with English. Although it is separated from regular classes, ESOL students have the same lessons and receive the same credits as any other high school student. The main difference between the classes is that the teachers have to modify the lessons in order for the students to comprehend and understand the lessons better.


When COVID-19 came and schools had to transition to virtual classes, it became hard for the teachers to build connections with their students. There were many factors like students having no internet, quiet space, and teachers couldn’t interact with them as they usually would be able to in a traditional setting. Since learning English is part of their class, they couldn’t practice or interact with each other as much as they would, compared to face to face learning, which affected their progression. During this time, they also couldn’t use the language and hear it as much as they would’ve so that was a setback for the students and teachers. 


The beneficial thing about being in ESOL is that you have a better chance of getting closer to your teacher and they won’t have over 100 students that they need to help. Most times, ESOL students have the same teachers throughout high school so they can easily approach them and ask for support when needed. Because of the small classes, it’s easier to have a stronger bond with your classmates and teachers even with the language barrier. “We are very much a family because the students have some of the same teachers for multiple years and as an ESOL team, we share the same students so we really get to know the students as individuals in a way that you might not if you have 30 students in a room four times a day,” ESOL teacher Ms. Nobles said.


ESOL classes are no different than regular classes and everyone learns the same thing. The main difference between the two is that ESOL classes have to be changed in order for the students to understand what is being taught. COVID-19 may have affected students’ learning while classes were virtual, but the ESOL department is back on track.