The Bilingual/ESL counselor program assists and supports ESL teachers and tutors, as well as regular classroom teachers, in the performance of their instructional duties. The counselor assures the appropriate placement of English Language Learners in ESL and regular classrooms. The counselor consults with teachers regarding the needs of English Language Learners. Also serves as a liaison between the home, school, and the English Language Learner.
The students are encouraged the use and development of their native language in a social as well as in an academic context.
The English Language Learners Program at the Anchorage School District is required by law. The purpose of the program is to teach English-as-a-second-language and other academic needs to students who come from homes in which a language other than English is spoken. Currently over 5,200 students who speak 94 different languages are served in the program. There are approximately 200 ELL staff districtwide located at various schools.
The program is designed to make use of a student's primary language, when available; cultural factors; and to maintain and develop the student's skills in English. Several delivery models are used including sheltered English instruction, English-as-a-second-language, and dual language immersion programs.