The English as a Second Language (ESL) program aims to develop linguistic competency for students, with limited English proficiency, kindergarten through 12th grade. The goal of the program is to provide students with the language skills needed to actively participate in social and academic settings. Support and intensive instruction are provided to enable students to become successful in content classes.
ESL instruction correlates to the English Language Proficiency Standards outlined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Emphasis is placed on the four domains of communication: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. These domains are addressed through Content Based Instruction in an ESL class. Modifications and accommodations are also made in content classes based on an individual student’s level of English proficiency. Completion of the ESL program is based on the exit criteria set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The goal of the English Language Arts department at Hershey Middle School is to develop critical thinkers, effective communicators, analytical readers, and informed consumers of media,
In eighth grade English Language Arts, students are provided with opportunities and resources to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. These skills are essential to a student’s ability to be informed and productive members in our society. Throughout the year, students will read a variety of high-quality fiction and nonfiction texts including but not limited to poetry, mythology, plays, articles, and novels. Classroom instruction will include strategies, techniques, and procedures for helping students develop as readers and writers. The instruction advocates techniques for students to become analytical readers and effective communicators, and students will have multiple opportunities to practice these techniques throughout the school year. All skills are taught through thematic units; currently the thematic units in eighth grade include Building Bridges; Our Odyssey, Our Journey; and Stirring Up Justice.
In seventh grade, students use diverse texts to respond critically, interpret messages, and analyze author’s purpose. Beyond learning to use text as evidence to support claims and arguments, students also develop personal reading habits and goals throughout the year as well as participate in literature circles. Literature circles focus on further exposing students to diverse writers and diverse characters while developing their group discussion skills and use of annotation and text evidence to enhance academic discussion. Writing skills are taught and practiced through the use of mentor texts, mini lessons on both writing strategies and conventions, and peer editing.
Process, collaboration, and authentic experiences are emphasized throughout each unit. Seventh grade units include “Your Heroes, Your Imagination”, “Your Relationships, Your Connections”, “Your World, Your Future”, and Your Voice, Your Power."
In sixth grade English Language Arts, students are provided with opportunities and resources to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The year is split into three units: fiction, nonfiction, and research. Students are taught a variety of reading strategies and skills. The units also include five different types of writing: narrative, informational, argumentative, text dependent analysis, and research. All reading and writing strategies and skills are taught through direct instruction, guided practice, and independent practice. Students are then assessed formatively and differentiation groups are used based on formative assessment scores. Students are then assessed summatively.