San Antonio: K-5 Literacy Program Outlook
Austin: ESOL Program Outlook
The Austin Independent School District is planning to emphasize English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in its curriculum.
AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: OVERVIEW
As the 5th largest school district in Texas, the Austin Independent School District serves a diverse population. Over the past five years the population of Austin has grown more than 6%. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the total number of students in the district is 83, 319. Out of this number, 81,875 students attend a regular school and 1,444 attend an alternative school. There are 7,809 students with IEP’s (Individualized Education Program) in this district, which equals about 9.4% of the student population. The Austin Independent School District has 120 schools and 5,839 full-time teaching positions. The economically disadvantaged population has grown by 15% over the last five years and represents about 63 % of the total student population. About 29% of the population is comprised of English Language Learners.
AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: ESOL
With a large population of English Language Learners, the Austin Independent School District ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program outlook is expanding. The district vision for these students is to help them become accomplished speakers of the English language and to promote a bilingual and bi-cultural society within the school system. The Department of English Language Learners is prepared to help personnel provide classroom support and learning in the classroom through resource materials and research-based instruction. To be eligible for the program, students will score a 1 or 2 on the Home Language Survey. Students will then begin an appropriate program for their grade level and ability. Out of the 24,000 English Language Learners in the schools, 4,585 are in the secondary school system. 95% of the students are Spanish-speaking and about 4,555 are immigrants who arrived in the country within the past five years. About 76% of these ELL are United States citizens.
AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: OUTLOOK FOR ESOL
ESOL teachers work in all educational settings from Pre-K to adult education. The job of the ESOL teacher is to provide the support necessary for students to gain the skills and confidence needed to speak English. Lesson plans will be developed to meet the needs of the diverse students and cultural backgrounds. An ESOL teacher will need a Bachelor Degree in Education or English and may also become certified by taking a course in TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. ESOL teachers must be licensed in the state of Texas and the teacher must possess excellent skills in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Although the teacher does not need to know a second language, it may be helpful to understand the different processes in learning another language. The current outlook for ESOL teachers is projected to grow from 2008-2018. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the best areas for growth are in the states of Texas or California because of the large immigrant populations.