English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a state-funded instructional program for eligible English Learners (ELs) in grades K-12 (Georgia School Law Code 1981, § 20-2-156, enacted in 1985). The ESOL program is a standards-based curriculum emphasizing academic and social language development. ESOL coursework is based upon the WIDA Consortium English Language Development (ELD) standards. Classroom teachers integrate these ELD standards with the Georgia Performance Standards to enable ELs to both communicate in English and demonstrate their academic, social, and cultural proficiency. Instructional approaches, both in ESOL and general education classes, ensure that the needs of Georgia’s ELs are accommodated. In ESOL programs it is appropriate, when practicable, to use the EL’s home language as a means of facilitating instruction and providing parents with school-related information.
ESOL students are held accountable for two sets of standards: the GPS Content standards (and soon the CCGPS content standards) and the WIDA standards. These standards help ELs learn to communicate proficiently in English as well as demonstrate adequate academic, social and cultural skills. By utilizing instructional approaches in both the ESOL and general education classroom, students will successfully exit ESOL services.
The WIDA standards, which are the second set of standards, measure how well the EL students are acquiring the English language. The federal Title III program has set three Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) by which to measure how the EL students in a school or district are progressing on acquiring fluency in the English language.
The ESOL students of the Jeff Davis County School System continue to enjoy great success in meeting all three AMAOs and have consistently met or exceeded each AMAO for several school years. AMAO 1 measures the percentage of EL students who are making progress toward English proficiency; AMAO 2 measures the percentage of students who have become proficient in English; and AMAO 3 denotes whether or not the EL group of students met federal goals in making Adequate Yearly Progress as measured by the CRCT or the GHSGT. AMAOs 1 and 2 are determined by a state formula based on the students' scores on the ACCESS test given to EL students between January and March. The ACCESS was first administered to students in the 2005-2006 school year and these scores set the baseline data for determining AMAOs. Each year our EL students continue to make gains above previous years! Additional information about our state's EL students can be found on the Georgia Department of Education's website.
Federal Programs Director