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How to Design and Implement a Newcomer Program

How to Design and Implement a Newcomer Program

by Brenda Custodio

ISBN-10: 0136119018

ISBN-13: 9780136119012

Pub. Date: 08/13/2010

Publisher: Pearson

In this unique, first-of-its-kind look at an increasingly popular educational model–the newcomer program–author Brenda Custodio brings over 25 years of ESL experience and nine years of newcomer program development to this practical resource. In it she shows what’s needed to design and implement the program, prepare the site, develop the


In this unique, first-of-its-kind look at an increasingly popular educational model–the newcomer program–author Brenda Custodio brings over 25 years of ESL experience and nine years of newcomer program development to this practical resource. In it she shows what’s needed to design and implement the program, prepare the site, develop the curriculum, interview and hire staff, and continually build a constantly evolving, successful newcomer program based on learners’ needs.

Product Details

Publication date:
Pearson Resources for Teaching English Learners Series
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

Table of Contents


  1. Description of Newcomer Programs / History and Rationale

Description and History of Newcomer Programs

Demographic data on numbers of ELLs and recent arrivals

Review of newcomer program history

Rationale for Newcomer Programs

Increase in students with limited literacy skills

Increase in gap between students’ abilities and school expectations

2. Getting Started

Factors to consider when determining if a newcomer program is right for your district

Number of new arrivals each year

Rate of arrival

Ability of district to absorb these arrivals into existing programs

Age and previous education of new arrivals

Family and community support available

Primary language of new arrivals

Support required by district and community

District resources available (finances, staff, building, knowledge)

District philosophy considerations (i.e., neighborhood schools, busing and magnet schools, inclusion vs. separate programming, language programming)

Issues to be determined before opening

How to handle continual new enrollment during the school year

What to do when capacity is reached

How to provide for extracurricular activities

How to service students with special education needs

Steps in designing and implementing a newcomer program

Exploration stage

Planning and implementing stages

Center of Applied Linguistics Checklist

  1. Program Design Options

Criteria for selection of program design

Previous educational experience of newcomers

Location of new arrivals

Age of new arrivals

District philosophy of language instruction

District resources

Structural and curricular design options

School-within-a-school or separate site

Length of program (semester to multiple years)

Transition or exit plan

Curricular or grade level options

Single or multiple school districts

Additional support services (tutoring, after-school, summer)

Language Instructional options --


Transitional bilingual

Maintenance bilingual

Dual language programs

Heritage language programs


Structured immersion

Content-based ESL

Sheltered instruction

  1. Student placement and exit criteria

Government guidelines for placement and service

Lau v Nichols

Plyler v Doe

Castaneda v Pickard

Language proficiency testing

Pre-testing and placement of students

Assessment tools for placement, transition, and exiting

English proficiency

Native language proficiency

Math proficiency

Definition of “newcomer”

Language services continuum

Intake Centers

Role of intake center

Services provided:

Interpreters, document translation, health screenings, connection to district and community services, placement

Exit process

When and how leave the newcomer center

Method of mainstreaming/ transition plan (gradual or upon completion)

  1. Newcomers with limited formal schooling

Description of students with limited formal schooling

Various terms or labels used in academic literature

What constitutes limited formal schooling

Causes of limited formal schooling

Migrant students

Latinos and other students from rural areas or areas with civil unrest


Educational time lost while acquiring English


Educational issues associated with limited formal schooling

Limited time to complete education

Limited literacy skills

Limited exposure to content area subjects

Limited numeracy skills

Limited knowledge of school expectations

Academic focus for limited formal schooling students

Literacy development

Sheltered content instruction

Math skills development

Basic school orientation

  1. Literacy development for newcomer ELLs

Critical nature of literacy skills

Components of an effective literacy program

§ Introduction to and practice with basic reading skills

§ Knowledge of high-frequency words

§ Development of extensive vocabulary

§ Activities to develop fluency and comprehension in reading and writing

§ Integration of all four language skills from the start

§ Knowledge of strategies to monitor comprehension

§ Practice with graphic organizers

§ Experience with various genres and purposes

§ Opportunities for daily reading and writing

§ Opportunities for independent reading and writing

§ Practice with the writing process

§ Knowledge of study skills

§ Experience with instructional or grade-level material

§ Reading and writing for pleasure and life-long learners

Scaffolding literacy development

  1. Numeracy development for newcomer ELLs

Critical nature of numeracy skills

Components of an effective numeracy program


§ Cardinal

§ Money

§ Time/calendars/dates

§ Place value and use of commas

§ Ordinals

Operations and basic skills

§ Addition

§ Subtraction

§ Multiplication

§ Division

§ Rounding and estimating

§ Positive and negative integers

§ Fractions, decimals, and percents


§ Length, weight, volume, and temperature

§ Perimeter, area, and volume

§ Standard and metric

Other math skills

§ Data analysis (charts, graphs, and tables)

§ Prime numbers, factors, and exponents

§ Basic geometry

§ Ratio and proportion

§ Pre-algebra

§ Word problems

Strategies for numeracy development

  1. Instructional strategies/models for Newcomers

Strategies for skills development

Build background knowledge

Provide comprehensible input

Activate and build on prior knowledge

Utilize manipulatives, realia, and visuals

Explicit skills instruction (CALLA)

Teach specific reading comprehension strategies

Integrate four areas of language skills

Model lessons and scaffold activities

Provide multidisciplinary theme units (content-based instruction)

Utilize cooperative learning groups

Develop effective questioning techniques

Focus on vocabulary development in all subject areas

Using the SIOP Model for sheltered instruction classes

  1. Curriculum development and materials selection


§ Orientation as part of curriculum

§ Curriculum modification

§ Courses for high school credit

§ Career preparation and training

Material selection

§ Criteria for textbook and supplementary material selection

§ Types of textbook and supplementary material available

§ List of resources/publishers for Newcomers

  1. Assessment for Newcomers

Initial placement assessment (discussed earlier)

Classroom informal and formal assessments

Portfolio assessment

Performance assessment

Oral assessment


Embedded assessment

Grading issues

Formal assessment

Standardized testing issues

Assessment for placement

special education

gifted and talented

college entrance exam

  1. Newcomer programs and standards-based instruction

Affects of NCLB on Newcomer Schools

§ Highly-qualified teachers

§ Intensive and extensive professional development

§ AYP goals and ramifications

§ Disaggregated sub-group data (including LEP)

§ Annual English language proficiency testing with goals

§ High school cohort regulations

Standards-based instruction

Content and language objectives

Curriculum ladders

Integrating state and national English language development standards

Teaching test-taking strategies

  1. Staffing and administration

State requirements for certification/licensure

Staff selection

Personality disposition for working with Newcomers

Professional development (upon entry and on-going)

What teachers need to know about their students

Primary language

Home country

Basic knowledge of the culture

Previous educational background

Family situation

Personal interests

Basic health information

Support staff needed

Bilingual classroom assistants

Bilingual secretaries

Support staff knowledgeable of cultures (bus drivers, food services, custodians, and security personnel)

Other support staff discussed in next chapter


Knowledgeable of cultural issues and second language acquisition principles

Experience working with second language students

  1. Student and family services

Academic and post-secondary counseling

Foreign transcript issues (translation and evaluation)

State requirements for graduation

Foreign language credit

Inter-district transcript issues

Career and technical education

College, university and post-secondary education issues

Extracurricular activities, sports, cultural interactions with native English speakers

Health professionals

Need for on-site health professionals

Typical health issues

Need for mental health services (trauma, grief, behavioral issues, cultural adjustment issues, family difficulties)

Family support services

Translation and interpretation

Knowledge of American school system

Legal and social services assistance

Public and community services awareness and access

  1. Community connections

Why community participation is critical

Political, business, and educational community

Ethnic communities

How to find and keep community support

  1. Evaluation of program effectiveness

Data collection and analysis

Program monitoring strategies

Program review and revision


Gifted and Talented Screening Rubric



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