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English Language Learning

The objective of the English Language Development Program is to provide a sequential curriculum for three ability-level classes for 6th, 7th and 8th graders. All of these courses lead to oral and academic proficiency of all students participating in the program. A concomitant objective is to have the students continue learning at a level equal to the one they were at in their home country.

Mikaela Bettencourt

Teacher - Math Resource, Intervention

Erin Harrigan

Teacher - ELD

Elli Sandis

Teacher - ELD, EL Academic Support

Primary Language Tutors

Tutors work with individual students in Science and/or Math classes where they interpret content material. They work with individual students and small groups in the ELL Core Support classroom helping explain and translate materials students have been given in their mainstream classes. They add support for comprehending classroom instruction and completing assignments in the ELL WIP support classroom. Languages include but are not limited to, Spanish, Hebrew, Mandarin, Korean, French, Japanese, and Russian.


The California Department of Education English Language Learner Standards of Learning.

Non-English fluent students who register in the Palo Alto Unified School District need intensive, sheltered instruction in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the English language. It should be at a level appropriate to their English language abilities. This is the rationale for separate English language classrooms for these students.

In science and math, students take part in the mainstream program, but are supported by primary language tutors as needed, and whenever possible. Every attempt is made to continue the rate of learning the student was experiencing prior to being placed in an environment where s/he is not fluent in the language while placing major emphasis on learning the target language (English) as expeditiously as possible.

Additional Resources

Dictionary of Idioms - A site designed to help EL students understand terms used in everyday language and books that are difficult to translate.