English Studies Program
The English Studies Program (ESP) is designed to support English Language Learners at Gould Academy. Upon their arrival, students are assessed with the WIDA MODEL Assessment and their results are used to determine their English proficiency level and appropriate placement in mainstream humanities and English Studies courses. Small class sizes (five students per class on average) allow for individual attention to student needs. Additional academic English support is offered during evening study hall hours through the Language Center, the Writing Center, and the ESP Study Hall.
English Studies Program Classes
Students in this year-long course are generally, but not always, enrolled in a mainstream English course. Lessons and activities often complement the mainstream humanities curricula. Students will practice active reading strategies as they explore texts such as current news publications and short works of fiction. Grammar and vocabulary will be taught in the context of class readings and in response to student work in both the ESP and content area courses. Ample feedback and coaching will be provided to guide students toward improvement of individual challenge areas. While the emphasis is on reading and writing, speaking and listening experiences, such as reading aloud or discussing a text, are integrated. Whole group lessons and activities are balanced with individual student-teacher conferencing. Many students will continue on to ESP-2 after completing ESP-1.
Students in this year-long course are also enrolled in a mainstream English course. As in ESP-1, grammar and vocabulary are taught in the context of classroom readings and in response to student work in ESP and content area courses. Lessons and activities often complement the mainstream humanities curricula. Active reading strategies are practiced as students explore texts such as current news publications and short works of fiction. Students will have many opportunities to practice writing skills and will be provided with individualized feedback and coaching for improvement. While the emphasis is on reading and writing, speaking and listening experiences, such as reading aloud or discussing a text, are integrated. Whole group lessons and activities are balanced with individual student-teacher conferencing. Many students will enroll in ESP-Tutorial after completing ESP-2.
Students in this year-long course are introduced to academic English as well as American history and culture. The course is taught over two periods in the academic schedule so as to create a low anxiety environment that will encourage students to participate at their own pace. Enrollment in this course will be based on a student’s overall performance on the WIDA MODEL Assessment conducted prior to the start of the school year.
Students enrolled in this course may not always be enrolled in mainstream English or history courses.
Skills Improved: Knowledge and understanding of American history, culture, and classroom expectations. Vocabulary development and communication through writing is emphasized to ensure success in subsequent mainstream English and history courses.
ESP-Tutorial is a regularly scheduled time in the academic schedule to support English learners across the curriculum. While additional work will sometimes be assigned in ESP-Tutorial, the time will be mostly spent with the teacher assisting the student in understanding all school assignments and ensure students are correctly completing those assignments to the best of their abilities.
While there is no formal Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) preparation course, students enrolled in the program are continually practicing academic English skills which are applicable to the TOEFL. ESP students are able to practice their skills in the official TOEFL lab located on campus. This is a great advantage to students as they can take this important test in a familiar environment without the worry of traveling to another location. ESP faculty members are available to assist students with specific preparation for the TOEFL, and this can be arranged on an individual or small group basis according to the needs and interest of the students.
Each summer, Gould Academy offers academic English immersion camps prior to the start of the school year. These camps allow students to fully recover from international travel and be ready for the start of the school year. The Summer English Studies Program combines both academic and co-curricular activities designed to improve English proficiency levels and prepare students new to Gould Academy for the coming school year. It also fosters commitment to using English during the school day, which helps many new international students successfully transition into their new environment. New international students at Gould Academy are strongly encouraged to attend the summer camp directly preceding the start of the school year.
A student’s continued enrollment in ESP is determined at the end of each year based on a combination of factors including: the student’s grades through the first two trimesters, the student’s end-of-year WIDA MODEL Assessment score, and teacher recommendations.
English Studies Program Faculty
A New Hampshire native and Nordic skier, Ms. Barstow previously taught history at Portsmouth High School and was a Special Education teacher in Durham, New Hampshire. She loves reading and spending time with her husband, Chris, a timber framer, their son, Lucas, and their daughter, Rosie. The Barstows live in Bethel, just off-campus.