English as a Second Language

About ESL

English as a Second Language (ESL) provides English language instruction and support for students K-12 who are English Language Learners.  Through development of listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar skills, students are assisted in becoming independent learners.  Students meet with ESL staff daily for instruction.  Materials and methods are appropriate to the grade, age and language levels of students.

ESL Mission

The intent is to ensure successful academic achievement for all students who come to TCAPS with a primary language other than English.

ESL Goals

  • To provide quality English language instruction for all English Language Learners in grades K-12 so they may become English speaking, reading, and writing independent learners.
  • To provide academic support services for English Language Learners.
  • To assist English Language Learners and their families in becoming participating members of the Traverse City Area Public Schools community.

In addition, the Traverse City Area Public Schools ESL Program maintains follow-up on students who have exited the ESL program into general education classes, to ensure that they have academic and language support they need to succeed in school.

More About ESL

English Language Learners are students who come from a home where a language other than English is spoken primarily. Such students may be immigrants from other countries.  Some American-born students also come from non-English speaking homes.  English Language Learners have difficulty speaking, reading, writing, and understanding the English language.  Due to these difficulties, they are ill equipped to succeed in an English-only classroom without intensive language training and academic support.

The English as a Second Language program serves students coming from Albania, China, Colombia, Honduras, India, Laos, Mexico, Moldova, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Poland, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.

How Long Does It Take to Learn a New Language?

  • Social, everyday language, playground, conversational: One to Three Years
  • Academic, at grade-level, listening, speaking, reading, writing: Five to Seven Years

For More Information

Contact the Associate Superintendent’s office at 231.933.1777.

Translation Services

Translation of any documents, or during any meeting, will be provided for any parent who requests translating. The process to request translation is:

  • Contact your school and make a request. The school will then make the request through the Human Resources Department, and a translator will be provided.
  • A school may use the Tele-Interpreter Service if no translator is available, or if translation services are an immediate need.