The mission of the English as a New Language (ENL) program at West Buffalo Charter School is to create a learning rich environment for English language learners (ELLs) through English language acquisition and academic achievement. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) developed standards for all students, including English Language Learners, in order to raise the level of instruction for all children. The students receive ENL instruction aimed towards the different levels of English language acquisition.
There are five levels of English language proficiency that support instruction to our English Language Learners (ELLs) and students are placed in the ENL program based on the results of the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). Students at the entering and emerging levels receive 36 minutes of stand alone instruction and 36 minutes of integrated ELA instruction daily. Students at the transitional, expanding, and commanding levels receive 36 minutes of integrated ELA instruction daily. We also administer an annual English language assessment each spring called the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT). The results of this test are used to design appropriate instructional programs for the next year.
We strive to provide instruction in whole-class and small groups to give our students the best means to learn the English language and academic content at the same time. Teachers often utilize technology, such as iPads, to enrich content and engage students. On-site language support staff assist with student and family communication.
West Buffalo Charter School has a high population of English Language Learners (ELLs), with over 19 languages currently represented, including:
Burmese, Thai, Karen, Karenni, Chin-Mindat, Siyin-Chin, Mai Mai, Somali, Spanish, French, Arabic, Nepali, Vietnamese, Hindi, Rakhaing, Portuguese, Zoni, Bangla, and Tigrinya.
Many of our students come from:
Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Malaysia, Liberia, Somalia, Puerto Rico, Congo, Iraq, Nepal, Ecuador, Ghana and China.