Module 1: Newcomer Curriculum
Newcomers Face Special Challenges
Newcomer students in middle school or high school face challenges beyond learning a new language. This includes figuring out how to navigate an unfamiliar school environment. Equally important is making new friends and fitting in socially.
ELD/ESOL educators have their own challenges. Newcomers enter classrooms with varying degrees of English competency. Some may be refugee students who are not fully literate in their native language due to limited or interrupted formal education. However, the instructional resources at hand don't teach much-needed foundational language skills. They may also not be developmentally appropriate for older students.
For newcomers to thrive, educators should consider both social-emotional and English language acquisition needs. The Language Tree Online Newcomer program encompasses acculturation support to boost confidence together with highly scaffolded language instruction to build critical language and vocabulary.
Video: Watch former newcomer students talk about their school experiences.
Language Tree Online for Newcomers
Newcomers Program Components
The Language Tree Online Newcomers component is a part of our ELD 1 program. It introduces essential English language skills and supports newcomer acculturation. The three connected components — American School Culture, Functional Vocabulary Builders, and standards-based Newcomer Access lessons — all include videos, interactive activities, and teacher-led instructional resources. Plus, we provide teachers with the professional development and tools needed to work effectively with their newcomer students.
American School Culture
A favorite of both students and teachers is our unique American School Culture resource designed to support acculturation. It features student peers on video sharing school-related cultural norms and expectations to help newcomer English language learners feel more confident and prepared in their new school. Newcomers will learn about behavioral expectations at school and in the classroom, the types of academic and counseling resources available, and social activities they can participate in to make new friends. They will also be introduced to fun cultural topics such as popular traditions and holidays celebrated in the U.S.
Functional Vocabulary Builders
Learning functional vocabulary is a critical and ongoing process for newcomers. Unfortunately, there isn't always enough time in the school day for focused vocabulary building. Our online Functional Vocabulary Builder unit provides newcomer students with ample opportunities to learn, hear, and practice vocabulary needed for academic and after-school life. In addition, educators can use our teacher-led vocabulary-building exercises to help their SIFE English learner population rapidly acquire new words and phrases.
The third component consists of highly-scaffolded standards-based language lessons. These teacher-led exercises address all four domains of language (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) and help newcomer learners with limited English skills access the online lessons in Language Tree Online ELD Level 1. Our curriculum is ideal for use in Newcomer Pathways and other newcomer programs that assist with transition.