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ESL and ELL Success Stories

Agencies and programs across the country are using CASAS to establish comprehensive performance accountability systems, address core indicators of performance, integrate literacy and occupational skill instruction, and evaluate the effectiveness of ESL/ELL, EL Civics, and Citizenship programs.

ESL Orientation/Success Class

Promising Practice: The ESL Orientation/Success Class at Florin Technology Center provides the necessary orientation, support and goal-setting required to help ESL students persist in adult education programs. The class is tailored specifically for the needs of ESL students, and creates a supportive peer group to make students feel more comfortable in a school setting.

Agency Awarded: Sacramento City USD, Florin Technology Center, 2010

Summary Description of Project:

Florin Technology Education Center created an ESL Orientation/Success Class, which all incoming ESL students are required to take before entering a level ESL class. This 2-week course gives incoming ESL students the knowledge and skills required to succeed at the adult school. Students discuss the importance of class attendance, working in groups, and setting long and short-term goals. The class was created in 2008 to address Florin’s low ESL persistence rates, which was due to irregular attendance, lack of study skills or lack of unrealistic goals. One common barrier to persistence, gained from student feedback, was that the students did not know anyone in their ESL class and felt uncomfortable entering the new environment alone. The ESL Orientation/Success Class gives students the opportunity to form a peer group even before starting regular ESL classes. Many of the students that attend the same Orientation/Success Class continue support each other while in ESL classes. This promising practice exemplifies the importance of targeting a problem and implementing comprehensive changes to fix that problem. In the end, ESL students at Florin Tech Center are better prepared and more excited about entering adult education classes.

Evaluation Process/Results:

Since implementing the ESL Orientation/Success Class, there has been a significant increase in learner persistence. The percentage of students attending ESL classes for 20 or more hours at Florin Technology Education Center has increased from 75% to 89% since the implementation of the class. The agency surpassed the 2008-09 California student-level performance for all but one ESL instructional level.

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