English as a Second Language

Patricia Tilghman

Coordinator for World Languages

p: (757) 603-6443
e: patricia.tilghman@wjccschools.org

The Williamsburg area is home to a growing number of non-native English speakers from around the country and the world. The diversity of our student body offers students and teachers from all backgrounds the opportunity to share differing ways of thinking, as well as opportunities for new ways of teaching and learning.

While honoring all students’ cultural backgrounds, the ESL Program seeks to give non-native English speaking students in particular the tools to succeed in the English-based classroom instruction that they receive daily. Through sheltered instruction, English language learners (ELLs) receive instruction not only on the English language itself, but also on the subject matter that their peers are learning. This ensures that they are receiving age-appropriate instruction and ample opportunity to interact with native English speakers in the classroom.

Program Participants

Upon registration in the WJCC public school system, a student’s parent or guardian fills out a language survey form to indicate the child’s primary language (the one spoken at home). Using that information and any existing school records, school staff alert the ESL teacher assigned to that school of the need for proficiency testing and possible placement into the ESL Program for services.