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English Language Learner (ELL) Support

The English Language Learner (ELL) program at AUS is designed to provide support to non-native English speaking students and promotes success in the English language, both academically and socially. Our ELL staff collaborates with the classroom teachers to ensure the students develop the literacy skills and strategies necessary to cope with curriculum in English.

Learning a new language follows a certain pattern and is similar to first language development. Every day conversational language is acquired quite quickly; children are usually able to participate in classroom routines and socialize with other children already in their first year of English learning. More complex academic language takes much longer to develop. Research shows that it may take five to seven years for ELL learners to acquire the academic aspects of English to a similar standard as their native-speaking peers. The ELL department supports students through this process.

AUS is a member of the WIDA International School Consortium (WISC). WIDA advances academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional development for educators. AUS utilizes the WIDA framework as a guide for language support and assessments. Qualification for ELL support is determined by the WIDA assessment. This assessment classifies students into 1 of 6 English language proficiency levels. Student’s scores are measured by their performance in four domains: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.