English as a Second Language (ESL)
It’s the mission of the English as a Second Language Department to coordinate efforts with school districts to best serve the needs of their English Learners. This is accomplished through student educational service, instruction, consultation, supervision, program compliancy and evaluation. The ESL Program has serviced districts in Allegheny County for more than 30 years. It serves children who come here from all over the world and helps school districts build the bridge that connects students' new language acquisition skills in English to what they bring culturally and linguistically from their homeland.
Approximately 45 certified teachers are employed in the AIU K-12 ESL Program – holding an Instructional I or II Teaching certificate. All of them have obtained a Program Specialist Certification in ESL. The AIU ESL instruction is generally a pull out program, presented in English. The teachers receive specific professional development related to current research and best instructional practices in teaching non-English speaking students. They do not need to be proficient in the students' native language, but know specialized language acquisition theory and techniques for making unfamiliar language comprehensible to students.
The goal of the AIU ESL Program is to assist each district in meeting the demands of its diverse population and to help the district and its English Learners build on the success of their first language with their newly acquired English language.