English as a Second Language (ESL)

Linden Hall’s ESL program provides English language learners with the instructional support they need to be full participants in their coursework and engaged members of the larger Linden Hall community. The goal for students enrolled in ESL classes is to progress quickly to college-preparatory coursework. Following an initial placement test, the ESL placement committee uses a combination of grades, test scores, and teacher recommendations to determine ESL course placement and when a student is ready for promotion. Students do not select their own placement level.

The ESL program includes a combination of direct language instruction and content-based courses to develop communication skills in both the interpersonal and academic realms. In addition to content courses and standard language instruction in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, the ESL program also features extensive preparation for the TOEFL iBT exam.

Any student who is not required to take ELS may elect to join an ESL course if she feels the need for additional support in English. Academic support services are also available on an as-needed basis.

Students are placed into ESL courses based upon placement testing completed at Linden Hall. Testing is administered three times each year, in August, November, and May. Students’ first-semester coursework is determined by August testing, and Upper School students may advance a level in ESL coursework at each semester if appropriate.

Students are required to complete a full year of college preparatory English work beyond ESL coursework in order to graduate.

ESL Coursework

Upper School ESL courses at Linden Hall are designed for two different purposes: 1) to provide support as students transition between grade levels, and 2) to deliver content in a specific subject area.

The Language and Composition course provides transitional support to students co-enrolled in a non-ESL English class and with a TOEFL score below 80. Math and Science Content Support provides students at ESL level 1 with the language support they will need to excel in college preparatory-level math and science courses, and is taken by Upper School students with a TOEFL score below 50 or by request of the student.

Courses that provide content delivery include ESL Language 1 and 2, ESL Literature 1 and 2, and ESL History.

The ESL History course is taken by Upper School students with TOEFL scores below 55 as a foundational course in U.S. History.

* Middle School students who require ESL support should inquire during the admissions process. The Admissions department will connect those students to the ESL Coordinator.