ENL program updates presented at Great Neck Board of Education meeting

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Stephen C. Lando of the Great Neck Public Schools District discussed new features to the English as a New Language Course at Monday's Board of Education meeting. (Photo by Robert Pelaez)

By JOHN NUGENT

The English as a New Language program in the Great Neck school district enrolls more than 500 students from 25 countries who speak 23 languages, the Board of Education was told Monday.

Stephen Lando, assistant superintendent for secondary education, and Kelly Newman,
assistant superintendent for elementary education, outlined the details and goals of the program, called ENL, in a presentation to the board.

The purpose of ENL is to teach English to students who have recently come to this country and only speak another language.

The focus is on four basic communication skills, reading, writing, listening and speaking, with the goal of getting the students to move comfortably into the mainstream of the school and the community.

In their presentation, Lando and Newman detailed changes to state
regulations on ENL programs.

The state mandates that school districts with multilingual and English language learners
develop an annual comprehensive education plan for their ENL programs.

The plan must include a screening process and proficiency level designations for all ENL learners, required professional development for all teachers and exit criteria for the students.

Additionally, the district will administer the New York State Identification Test for English
Language Learners and the New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test to the students.

Board of Education President Barbara Berkowitz praised the ENL teachers, many of whom were in attendance at the meeting, for their dedication and their efforts not only to help their students develop language skills but also to give them confidence in adjusting to a new environment.

“There is so much more than just learning English. I applaud all the work that you do,” she said.

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