English as a New Language (ENL)

  • Amherst Central Schools ENL Teachers

    Windermere Boulevard Elementary School
    Erin Bejarano
    Ginny Brown-Cerasani
    Susan Lasch

    Amherst Middle School
    Beth Taylor

    Amherst High School
    Beth Taylor
    Jennifer DeGain (Part-time)

    The mission of the Amherst Central Schools ENL Program is to create a learning rich environment for English Language Learners, through English language acquisition and academic achievement.  Our model program is based on the following Essential Elements:

    1. High Standards for LEP/ELL Students.  LEP/ELL students are held to the same high standards and expectations as all students.  Curriculum, instruction, and assessment in all classrooms serving LEP/ELL students are aligned with New York State standards in the seven core areas.
    2. Strong Literacy Development for LEP/ELLs.  Literacy is developed through English as a second language and English language arts curricula aligned with the ELA standards. 
    3. Qualified and Well-Trained Educators of LEP/ELLs. There are sufficient numbers of well-prepared, competent, and appropriately certified teachers, administrators, and staff working with LEP/ELL students.  The staff members participate in ongoing, long-term staff development with strong emphasis on the State learning standards.  The single most critical element for successful learning by the LEP/ELL students is the quality and preparation of the teachers.
    4. District/School-Based Leadership Committed to Educational Excellence and Equity for LEP/ELLs.  The school leadership is highly articulate regarding curriculum and instructional classroom strategies for LEP/ELLs and is highly supportive of their ESL instructional staff.  Flexibility and expansion of instructional time are supported. 
    5. Positive School Climate for LEP/ELLs.  The languages and cultures of LEP/ELLs are respected and valued throughout the school.  ESL teachers are an integral part of the instructional staff and they are provided with the support, materials, and resources needed to be successful. 
    6. Parent/Family and Community Involvement in the Education of LEP/ELLs.  Parents of LEP/ELLs are made to feel as important members of the school community and are meaningfully involved in the education of their children. 
    7. Assessment and Accountability.  LEP/ELL students performance and services are assessed on an ongoing basis at all levels using multiple, fair, and equitable measures.  Assessment is conducted in  English and with native language interpreters as appropriate.  The information obtained is used to determine student academic progress, the level of English language acquisition, and to refine services to LEP/ELLs and report outcomes.



    Ten Ways Parents Can Promote Language Learning at Home

    1. Begin reading to your children at an early age, and as often as possible, in your native language and if possible in English. Literacy in the native language helps in developing proficiency in the second language.
    2. Visit your public library with your children. Choose books for yourself and your children. As often as possible, read them stories in your native language and about your native culture.
    3. Keep many types of reading materials (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.) in your native language and in English in your home.  Encourage your older children to read to your younger children, and allow your children to see that you also enjoy reading.
    4. Ask your children questions about what they have read, such as: What is happening in the story? What do you think will happen next?What did you like best about the story?  Asking these questions can help your children become excited about reading, more responsible for their own learning, and more knowledgeable about their native and new cultures.
    5. Take your children to places in the community that offer educational activities and learning experiences. Talk to your children about what they are seeing. Provide them with the names of new objects of attention, concern, or interest. Answer questions they may have.  Remember, you are your child’s first teacher.
    6. Tell your children stories about your family, as well as stories and songs you liked to hear when you were a child in your native country. In this way, not only are you reinforcing listening skills, but you are also passing along important cultural information.
    7. Discuss things that happen in school every day. Engage your children in conversation about their favorite subjects and teachers, and any special events that go on. Listen closely to what they say in response.
    8. Find different opportunities for your children to write frequently in your native language and in English. Encourage them to write in a journal or diary, leave notes for family members, compile shopping lists, write down recipes, and write letters to family, friends, and/or pen pals.
    9. Select television programs that you and your child can watch and discuss. Limit the amount of time your children can watch television and encourage them to read, write, listen to music, or talk with family members or friends.
    10. Designate a quiet place in your home for reading where your child is comfortable and away from distractions.


    * Original source unknown


    For additional information go to


    Ms. Ginny Brown’s website:

    Ms. Beth Taylor’s website: