English as a Second Language (ESL)
Marvelwood’s ESL program is committed to developing the non-native English speaker’s oral and written communication skills, which are essential to their successful integration into both the academic realm and life on a boarding school campus. Our program facilitates appropriate placement for students with different degrees of English proficiency. We offer small classes at both the beginning and intermediate levels, where individual learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses are recognized and addressed.
Pair work, group work, oral presentations and computer-based language learning activities are part of the curriculum. ESL teachers design the program to move as quickly as it can, and as slowly as it needs to. Our goal is for the students to become effective communicators in diverse English-speaking contexts, and to develop sufficient proficiency to accomplish a wide variety of social and academic tasks in English. We have succeeded when the students are ready to find success alongside native English speakers in mainstream academic subjects.
The ESL faculty’s creativity is reflected in the variety of meaningful activities offered in the ESL classroom. On any given day, a visitor may see students drawing cave paintings with charcoal, sitting in a circle and belting out Beatles songs into a microphone, playing tarot cards, debating the pros and cons of censorship, or presenting an illustrated poster of the Greek goddess Athena. Field trips and other activities expose the students to the history and cultural richness of the United States. They may carve jack-o’-lanterns on Halloween, soften deer hide in a longhouse in an American Indian museum, participate in a local Civil War reenactment, learn to make maple syrup in an authentic sugaring shack, or take pictures of each other in front of the Statue of Liberty.
International students also teach the student body about their own home countries. Marvelwood appreciates and celebrates the linguistic and cultural diversity of its international population through activities such as international dinners, field trip meals at ethnic restaurants, and the sharing of cultures through music and art.
Imagine a place of possibility...
The Marvelwood School’s English as a Second Language (ESL) Program is designed to support international students in their efforts to gain a solid foundation in the structure, vocabulary, and nuances of the English language and to ensure that they become comfortable and confident in communicating with others in English. The program facilitates appropriate placement for students with varying degrees of proficiency. Each individual student and every year’s group are unique; therefore, teachers in the ESL department creatively and thoughtfully tailor their curricula to meet the specific needs of the students at each level. Small, student-centered classes enable English language learners to develop their confidence through targeted skills-building and interactive activities as well as content-based programming. Our unique location allows international students the opportunity to learn about and explore American culture through field trips to diverse locations including The Native American Museum, Colonial Sturbridge Village, New York City, Cape Cod and Boston. In addition, Marvelwood is licensed as a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) testing center, making this quantitative measure of fluency easily accessible to our students. Our goal is for students to gain sufficient mastery so that they can successfully transition to a fully mainstreamed academic program before graduation. Working creatively, energetically and empathetically with young adults who are far from home, we embrace opportunities to celebrate the rich cultural diversity represented on campus. We also hope to ignite a flame within each student and motivate them to be independent, life-long learners.