A JK-12 pluralistic school that engages students in an exemplary and inspiring general and Jewish education.


The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School is an educational support system for international students in grades K-5. The program is designed to teach communications skills and English literacy so that the students will be able to function independently in their classroom and quickly become productive learners.

Learning objectives are individualized to meet the needs of each student at their grade level. The primary focus is on developing communication skills and vocabulary needed for each grade level. The ESOL teacher and the classroom teacher work very closely together to ensure that the ESOL student acquires the necessary language skills in oral language, spelling, handwriting and reading. The students receive individualized instruction in the ESOL classroom and in their general studies and math classrooms in the second year of the program. The ESOL teacher also provides support in math, science and other activities that require language support. Frequent parent communication is an important part of the CEDJDS ESOL Program. This communication enables the students to make an easier transition into their new academic and social environment.


The ESOL curriculum is content-based for each grade. In order to be the most effective, the content-based curriculum encompasses the sequence and major scope areas of the mainstream curriculum.

The topics that are incorporated into the ESOL curriculum are central topics for each grade level and are designed to support the development of new knowledge and skills in English. The key learning areas of the ESOL program are listening, speaking, reading and writing.


The primary focus of ESOL with the kindergarten student is communication and word association. Students work with the ESOL teacher on language development through the use of games, songs, books, pictures and creative arts. The ESOL teacher also previews the units that are being taught in the student’s home room which enables the new student to gain confidence and actively participate in the classroom.

Grades 1 - 5

The curriculum for entering international students includes:

  • Verbal language communications skills
  • Names of letters
  • Sounds of letters
  • Reading
  • Grammar
  • Math
  • Science

Program Description

Entering first year ESOL students in grades 1-3 receive an average of 45 minutes per day of instruction in individualized language development. New students in the grades 4-5 are in ESOL class for language arts for approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours every day. Specialized language instruction in units that are being taught in the regular classroom is provided in order to enable the students to participate in their classroom units. The program also provides previews of science, social studies and math. Second and third year ESOL students receive daily support from the ESOL teacher primarily in their classroom. The ESOL teacher supports the students to enable then to achieve academic success on their grade level. Sometimes the students have a support lesson in the ESOL classroom. The ESOL teacher and the classroom teacher consult daily to create a positive learning experience for each ESOL student.

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program at CESJDS is designed to support non-native speakers in the acquisition of English and provide a linguistic foundation for success in the students’ other academic classes. The course is structured similarly to mainstream English classes, but at a reading level appropriate for the students. A greater emphasis is placed on formalities of English than is found in classes for native speakers.

Students read novels, short stories, newspapers, and Internet pages, and use these texts to introduce elements of literature such as plot, character development, and conflict. There is an important focus on vocabulary growth, grammatical rules, and the structure of the English language. Writing is emphasized, and students are expected to speak only English in class. The small class size allows students to interact closely with the teacher and each other, and to address issues relating to their acculturation process. In addition to class work and homework, students enrolled in ESOL are responsible for reading English-language fiction books outside of class.