English Learner Education

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Welcome to New Bedford Public Schools’ English Learner Education Webpage!  

New Bedford is a Title III district with a diverse English Learner (EL) student population from a variety of linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds that bring our school communities a wealth of experience and knowledge as well as a mixture of cultural and linguistic assets. The New Bedford School System is servicing EL students through a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) program to provide language and academic supports to enable EL students to become more proficient in English and meet academic standards in a timely manner.

New Bedford Public Schools district is committed to ensuring excellence for all our EL students. In order to accomplish this goal and to establish the annual attainment of benchmarks for language acquisition and academic achievement of more than 4,000 EL students, we provide our English Learners with multiple opportunities to develop English language proficiency to improve their education in the content areas. According to the LOOK Act (Language Opportunity for Our Kids), which amended certain sections of Massachusetts General Laws, chapters 69, 70, and 71A, districts are required to build and sustain successful English Learner Education Programs that support ELs to learn English, access academic content, and to master academic English for college and career readiness.

New Bedford Public Schools educates EL students in a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) or our “New” Dual Language Education (DLE) program. In our SEI Program, all PK-12 classroom instruction, books, and instructional materials are in English, and all subject matter is taught in English. The SEI Program consists of two components: Sheltered Content Instruction and English as a Second Language (ESL). In our DLE Program, offered to both English native speaking and Spanish speaking students, the grade level content is delivered in Spanish and English.

In grades PK-12, New Bedford Schools has about sixty qualified English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and all Math, ELA, Science, Social Studies, Elementary, Early Childhood, and Special Education Content Area Teachers (CAT) have been trained how to effectively teach English Learners in content area classes. CAT & ESL teachers make use of specific teaching techniques to assist EL students of five different English proficiency levels. Teachers also are working on the alignment of curricular models with the Massachusetts Common Core and the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards to improve the EL students’ progress towards their attainment of English language proficiency.


Staff Contact Information

Sonia Walmsley
Executive Director of Educational Access and Pathways
PRAB – Office #141
455 County Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
508-997-4511 Ext. 14600

 Betty Fagundes
Administrative Assistant
Education Access and Pathways
PRAB - Office #141
455 County Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
508-997-4511 Ext. 14650

Martha Romero
9-12 ESL Content Instructional Leader
New Bedford High School
508-997-4511 Ext. 20509

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