The Progressive English department consists of three levels in the Upper School as well as one class for the Middle School. The mission of the department is to prepare students for success in the Academy's rigorous college preparatory curriculum and beyond. To that end they are committed to using the latest language acquisition techniques and pedagogical methods to ensure timely advancement through the program.
The Progressive English department has also been on the forefront of the Academy's initiative to integrate technology into the classroom. This effort has been bolstered by the Chen Family Language Lab - an innovative laboratory to help students in their language learning.
In short, the department’s professional teaching staff and world-class facilities have made Montverde Academy a premier English as a Second Language (ESL) training destination.
Jeff Wexler Director of ESL Program
SIPPS (Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Sight Words)
At the beginning of the 2016-17 school year, Ms. Podguski went to a SIPPS conference in Orlando to learn how to effectively implement SIPPS for the Progressive English department. While the program is primarily used for native speakers of English, we have found tremendous utility in introducing sight words and rudimentary English phonics to ESL learners. The program is especially useful for those students with zero to limited experience with English in ramping up their ability to read text. SIPPS coupled with our Reading Assistant program promises to put our low ESL Level One students on a more accelerated path toward reaching their goals.
US History I, II, and III
The Progressive English department plays an instrumental role in preparing international students for the rigors of Montverde Academy. One area where many of our students encounter difficulties as they join the mainstream curriculum is United States History. To better familiarize our students with the vocabulary, themes, and content of the subject, the department has opened US History classes for each level of ESL, slowly increasing in difficulty for vocabulary and content difficulty. This way, students will walk into their first day of mainstream US History undaunted by the material and teachers’ expectations.
Integrated Science I
Integrated Science had been offered in both Level One and Level Two Progressive English, but recently the department dropped the course in Level One for conversational English courses. This approached worked for the students we had at the time, but as stronger and stronger students have enrolled, it has become necessary to switch gears back to more academic focus. Integrated Science I slowly introduces the vocabulary and science concepts in English to increase students’ comfort level with topic. As with the US History classes, Integrated Science I and II prepares students for what is expected of them in the mainstream.
Both SAT and TOEFL prep is taught in-house to provide more flexibility in the instruction of the material. Mr. Moore teaches TOEFL Prep. Moore previously taught a version of the course while attending graduate school at the University of South Carolina. The course promises to bring a fresher, more dynamic approach to the instruction that will put international students in the best possibe position to improve their TOEFL scores.