• It's a great pleasure to be at Forest Park teaching English Language Learners. I have taught in this building in this role for several years now. I feel very lucky to work in such a welcoming and supportive community. Before teaching ELL, I was a classroom teacher in kindergarten and in a first grade Spanish immersion program. Many of my students in these classrooms spoke languages other than English at home, which prompted me to obtain my ESOL endorsement so I could more effectively meet my students' needs. I've always enjoyed learning languages, traveling, and learning about world cultures. In college I studied and lived in Costa Rica where I became fluent in Spanish and had many adventures exploring the region's breathtaking landscape and wildlife. I'm a passionate believer that speaking multiple languages enhances learning and opportunities throughout life. It is a gift to be able to communicate and experience the world through multiple modes. I always tell my students that they should be proud of being bilingual, and in some cases, trilingual!

    How does a student qualify for ELL (English Language Learner) services? If a language "other than English" is listed on the registration form, this triggers an inquiry in our system. The district tests the student to assess their current English language proficiency and determines if they should receive English instruction. Sometimes parents worry that if their child qualifies for ELL, they will miss out on important classroom content, or be singled out. Though this is a valid concern, I can assure you that one of my primary goals as an ELL teacher, is partnering closely with classroom teachers so students are receiving an integrated experience between their work in the homeroom and with me. Forest Park has a diverse student body with families from all over the world; students of all backgrounds and language abilities are embraced by our culture here.

    We do lots of fun and engaging activities in ELL that develop all language forms and functions used in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. If your child qualifies for ELL, they will have lots of rich opportunities to practice their language skills, thereby strengthening their overall academic performance. I see myself as an advocate for English Language Learners and their families, helping them make the transition to a new culture and school a little easier. If you ever want to come by and chat, my office is located upstairs in the annex, "Room 214." I look forward to partnering with you!

    Adriane Blackman