The English Language Acquisition department supports students who are learning English as a second language, are bilingual already, or who have another language that is used at home. Our goal is to improve students’ use of academic English so that they can be more successful at school. At Blevins, the most common home language other than English is Spanish, but we also have students who know Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Uzbeck, Russian and others. Due to the influence of CSU, we have students come to us from around the world. Each year, students take a test called ACCESS, mandated by the state of Colorado, to monitor their growth in the categories of speaking, listening, reading and writing. As students advance over time, they show more fluency in each category. Once they show fluency comparable to an average native English speaker, we move them from the program. They spend 2 years being monitored, then they are exited.
Blevins’ program includes an ELO class for English language learners, where we work specifically on building academic language skills, and a co-teaching model where we work with content area teachers to make material accessible, and grow students’ abilities in their core class areas. The past two years, we have been fortunate enough to get funding for an after school tutoring program, where students can get help in areas of confusion.
We also have family/parent liaisons who are fluent in Spanish and Arabic, who communicate with our students’ families and help them feel welcome at school.