ESL (English as a Second Language)
As an international school, Woodstock welcomes capable students who are learning English. The English as a Second Language (ESL) program is designed to help learners to master the necessary English speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing language skills to succeed in Woodstock's rigorous academic environment. Woodstock offers ESL to grades 2-10, with a focus on grades 6-9.
Elementary ESL students may be pulled out for individual/small group ESL instruction, supported by an ESL teacher in class, or receive a combination of both types of service, depending on individual students' needs.
Secondary ESL students may take ESL Language, ESL English, ESL Social Studies, Supplemental ESL (vocabulary and conversation focus) and ESL Tutorial, depending on individual students' grades and English proficiency levels. All students are identified for ESL services based on English language proficiency tests in reading, writing and listening/speaking, and entering high school students require a TOEFL test score for admission to Woodstock. In addition to ESL services from teachers, beginning students receive one-on-one or small group tutoring assistance from older high school interns often of the same native language.
Over the years ESL students have brought a special vitality to Woodstock. Their varied backgrounds and experiences, their many talents in music, art, sports and drama enrich and enliven the school. We are grateful for their contributions and, in turn, are committed to serving them, making it possible for them to learn and thrive in an English-speaking environment.
Ms. Rochita Rao, HOD
Ms. Rochita Rao is an alumna of Woodstock School. After receiving an honors degree in English from Delhi University and TESOL certification from the Stamford UK group in Thailand, she joined the ESL department at Woodstock which she has been a part of for the last 5 years.
Mrs. Julie Husthwaite
Mrs. Julie Husthwaite grew up in the United Kingdom and received her honours degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Bradford University in the United Kingdom and her TOEFL certificate from St. Martin's College in Lancaster. These have enabled her to look at the teaching and learning of English from different angles in order to enable students to access materials in a way suited to them. Mrs. Husthwaite has taught students in the United Kingdom, Lebanon and now in India, as well as working as a learning assistant in schools in the United Kingdom.
Ms Meredith Dyson
Meredith is a native of Philadelphia, has a BA from Houghton college in Intercultural Studies and an MS Ed from the University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching experience includes two years teaching various subjects to K-12 students at Woodlyn Christian School and four years working as a Reading Specialist and English teacher at Bala Cynwyd Middle School
Senior School Course Descriptions
- ESL 1
- ESL 1 is a course for beginning English language learners. It focuses on the English language skills of writing, grammar and vocabulary, with reading used as a basis for writing and vocabulary. As the English skill most essential in higher grade levels, academic writing is the primary focus of the course. ESL 1 class is combined-grade (gr. 7-8) and focuses language support to the specific language needs of beginning English language learners. ESL 1 takes the place of Hindi and French as a language requirement for ESL students.
- ESL 2 is a course for intermediate level English language learners. It focuses on the English language skills of writing, grammar and vocabulary, with reading used as a basis for writing and vocabulary. As the English skill most essential in higher grade levels, academic writing is the primary focus of the course. ESL 2 class is multiple-grade (gr. 7-9) and focuses language support to the specific language needs of intermediate English language learners. ESL 2 takes the place of Hindi and French as a language requirement for ESL students.
- ESL 3 is a course for advanced English language learners. It focuses on the English language skills of writing, grammar and vocabulary, with reading used as a basis for writing and vocabulary. As the English skill most essential in higher grade levels, academic writing is the primary focus of the course. ESL 3 class is multiple-grade (gr. 7-9) and focuses language support to the specific language needs of advanced English language learners. ESL 3 takes the place of Hindi and French as a language requirement for ESL students and is generally the last course taken in the ESL sequence.
- Supplemental ESL is aimed at beginning to low-intermediate English language learners. This course replaces the RE and Health for students who would benefit from extra instruction and support in vocabulary and communicative skills in order to benefit fully from their schooling. The course develops confidence and accuracy in English with special emphasis on oral communication and vocabulary development. The course deals with cultural issues and adaptations in order to develop flexibility in a variety of communicative situations. This course is designed to be flexible to benefit students to the full, and it is taken in addition to ESL (Language), ESL English and ESL Social Studies. The length of time each unit will take is approximately 3 weeks.
- Building critical literacy is a focus for ESL English 7, laying a foundation for success in the Woodstock English curriculum throughout the high school years and international external exams. Skills include work in reading, writing, and speaking. Reading will build students' critical involvement with a variety of multicultural literature texts and responses in written and spoken forms. Students will develop an introductory understanding of themes and literary devices. They will practice sustained silent reading. Writing balances creative writing and academic writing skills. Vocabulary building and practical grammar grounding are fundamental components of this part of the curriculum. Students will receive instruction and practice in using the writing process and school literary resources. They will have regular timed writing exercises on a variety of topics to develop organizational and test taking skills. Students will develop speaking skills for use in prepared formal presentation situations and spontaneous discussion topics, memorization and dramatic expression.
- Grade 9 English focuses on reading different genres of literature from several English-speaking countries, and on writing in a variety of genres. Throughout the year, students read and discuss literature using analysis and appropriate literary terminology. Critical thinking skills are developed through reading, questioning, and discussion. The reading includes three novels, a Shakespeare play, selected short stories, poetry, personal narratives, and non-fiction. Genre and theme are areas of discussion and writing. Critical reading skills are further developed through consistent practice in class. Essay writing skills are a prime focus in Grade 9 as well as summary writing. Use of complex sentences, practice in different types of essays (narrative, descriptive, expository and argumentative), summary, directed writing, and vocabulary building are also practised in order to develop logical, well-organised writing. Grammar and style are covered as needed in students' own writing, particularly verb endings, subject-verb agreement, and punctuation. Grade 9 English includes special attention on productive use of the Media Resource Center. All of these basic skills provide a foundation for external exam preparation in grades 10, 11, and 12.
- Students in this course will study a series of world issues that have an impact on their lives. These include environmentalism, the rights of indigenous people, refugees and internally displaced persons, globalization, and poverty. Throughout these units, students are exposed to basic principles of history, geography, economics, and political science. These areas of study are then covered more directly in the grade 8 curriculum after this introduction in grade 7. The content and skills derived from these areas are then applied to a unit covering the history and functions of the United Nations. This will serve as preparation for the Woodstock Model United Nations conference, in which all students participate during their eighth grade year. This preparation gives students an opportunity to develop their research, debating, and public speaking skills as well.
- This course traces the history of the world from its beginnings to 1400 AD. Students will master major historical themes and patterns around the world, thoroughly preparing them for the AP World History curriculum of grades 9 and 10. Regular and varied assessments ensure that along with developing a concrete knowledge of this time period, students also apply the lessons of history to their everyday lives, preparing for a lifetime of global citizenship.
What Students Say
"My parents wanted me to study here and have a good relationship with other countries. They wanted me to be a good person and do some things for society as I can. But if I want to do those then I have to study.English because English will be use for all the countries in the world. I want to learn the difference from each country and give those differences to my country to make a good country of the world." (Vietnamese student)
"When I was small I didn't really like going out with my mother, because in Japan only I was different with the other children (in my school). But for coming here nothing do worry about which country my parents are. So I became little changed. I'm really thankful for came here and now I don't feel shy or nervous for playing, or out for shopping with my family." (Indian/Japanese student)