English as a Second Language Program

The English as a Second Language Program is designed for students who are not native speakers of English. Students are placed in ESL levels by scores on the Institutional TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and TWE (test of written English) along with in-house oral and written assessments administered during the first two weeks of school and again in April of the school year.

First and second level ESL courses may be taken in a student’s freshman, sophomore and junior years. By the student’s senior year, the student should be mainstreamed into our academic program with the addition of English III and ESL support. Below are the PBT (Paper Based TOEFL) or IBT (Internet Based TOEFL scores that a student should obtain in order to be placed in/or advance to the appropriate grade level.

9th    PBT 377   IBT  25
10th  PBT 430   IBT  40
11th  PBT 470   IBT  52
12th  PBT 510   IBT  64

If a student does not attain the score for advancement, we will request that the student take a summer program to improve their overall English skills. They will be retested at the start of the new academic school year. If the student has attained required score, and has not shown adequate improvement, the student will be placed on academic probation. If the student is not progressing in his/her English language acquisition, the student may be asked to repeat a year of school he/she may be asked to leave the school.

The ESL program has three levels. The student will be placed in level one, two, or three depending upon his/her initial TOEFL, TWE and other in-house reading, writing and speaking assessments. We honor each student’s different learning styles and requirements, and use testing only as a guide to placement. The student’s prior English and academic experiences are also taken into account when placing a student in ESL levels.  Students are placed in first level classes with a PBT under 450 (45 IBT). Upon successful completion of first level class, the student is placed in second level classes with a PBT of 450-500 (45-61 IBT) along with other assessments. Third level students are placed in ESL support if their PBT is under 550 (80 IBT). A student with a PBT of 550 (80 IBT) can be completely mainstreamed into our academic classes.

A Besant Hill ESL student, by successfully completing the ESL program, is able to graduate with the class to which he/she was accepted. By working with the Director of ESL, the Academic Dean and the College Counselor, we ensure that the student has all the credits for high school graduation and college acceptance.

Course Descriptions:

Click on the course name below for a brief description.

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child."George Bernard Shaw