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ESL Overview

The Cheltenham School District provides a coordinated classroom program for students who are identified as requiring instruction in the English language when this is not their native language or when they come from an environment where a language other than English is dominant. The program is considered to be basic education, aligning with reading/language arts or English instruction. The aim of this program is to increase the English language proficiency of limited English proficient students so that they can meet state and district academic standards. Furthermore, we hope to increase English language proficiency so that students can fully and successfully participate in all mainstreamed classes at an age-appropriate grade level. All of this is offered so that the student can successfully adapt to his or her new culture.

The ESL Program is based on current educational and second language acquisition theory. The ESL Program is an academic discipline designed to teach English Language Learners, (ELLs), social, (BICS), and academic language skills, (CALPS), and the cultural aspects of the English language necessary to succeed in the academic environment and contribute to society.

The Program

  • Students are pulled out of their regular classroom into the ESL room.
  • Students are taught the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through a variety of interactive lessons that will ultimately be transferred into their regular classroom.
  • Students are provided with emotional support during a transitional period that is, at times, both frustrating and exciting.

Courses of study are correlated with the PA Academic Standards and PA English Language Proficiency Standards, (PA ELPS), providing for the teaching of English. All teachers must adapt the grade level curriculum to meet the individual needs of the English Language Learners they instruct.

ELL Program Goals

  • To provide educational experiences that will prepare students to complete high school and to enter institutions of higher learning and/or the world of work.
  • To support student growth in the regular education classroom.
  • To support mainstream teachers regarding instruction, making adaptations, and grading procedures.
  • To support and provide information to additional professionals, i.e. counselors, psychologists, speech therapists, IST and MDE teams and instructional support staff.
  • To orient students to the school environment and community.

Instructional Focus / Goals

The Cheltenham ELL instructional program addresses five areas from grades kindergarten through twelve:

  • Proficiency in oral language.
  • Proficiency in listening comprehension.
  • Proficiency in reading, (including reading in the content areas).
  • Proficiency in writing.
  • Proficiency in social and cultural adaptation.


  • To communicate in social settings.
  • To use English to achieve academically in all content areas.
  • To use English in socially and culturally appropriate ways.

Department Contacts

Cindy Brickman
ESL Teacher at Cedarbrook Middle School and Cheltenham High School
(215) 517-3700 x4190 

Ashley Lee
ESL Teacher at Glenside and Wyncote Elementary
(215) 881-6440 x1594 Glenside (215) 881-6410 x2709 Wyncote 

Kwang Lee
ESL Teacher at Myers Elementary and Elkins Park School
(215) 881-4941 x3098 

Ann Marie Tobar
ESL Teacher at Cheltenham Elementary
(215)-635-7415 x1153

Parent and Staff Resources