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English as a New LanguageĀ 

Welcome to the English as a New Language (ENL) Department of the
Baldwinsville Central School District

At Baldwinsville Central School District, four ENL teachers service approximately 45 students of varying English language proficiency across the district. Baldwinsville offers English as a New Language programming for all students who are English Language Learners (ELL). This means students are instructed in all academic areas in English in both classroom settings taught by a regular teacher as well as in pull-out classes taught by a specially-certified ENL teacher. The goal of the ENL program is to increase a student’s proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English.


Joseph DeBarbieri
Deputy Superintendent
315-638-6044 ext. 8

Renee Burnett
Director, Secondary Curriculum and Instruction

David Kilcourse
Director of Pupil and Personnel Services



All About ENL

Our Philosophy

Helpful Terms to Know

Frequently Asked Questions

Parent Resources



All About ENL

What does it mean to be an English Language Learner? An English Language Learner is a student whose primary language is not English.
What languages are spoken by students at Baldwinsville?

Our ELL students speak a variety of languages including Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, Chinese, French, and Farsi.  

How are students identified as English Language Learners? Students are identified as English Language Learners via a required assessment called the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). This test measures a student’s English language proficiency when entering a New York State school.

Whom do I contact regarding questions about ENL programming?
Contact  Joseph DeBarbieri, Deputy Superintendent, at 315-638-6044.


The Baldwinsville Central School District proudly embraces students from around the world and seeks to honor, explore, and understand the cultural diversity they and their families bring to our community. We use the following guiding principles as a foundation for our work:

  • A student’s native language, culture, traditions, and home life are valued resources to draw upon to promote student success

  • English Language Learners should be presented with high expectations, challenging curriculum, and quality teaching aligned to New York State learning standards in all core areas

  • A commitment to investing in and continually developing qualified personnel trained to support English Language Learners


ENL - English as a New Language  

ELL - English Language Learner

  • Typically a student whose native language is non-English and is actively learning the English language with appropriate supports and scaffolds

ESL - English as a Second Language

  • A term which has been used in the past to identify non-English speaking students (now commonly referred to as ELL); it is now used to refer to the instructional program provided to ELL students


Don't you have to speak the students' languages to teach them English? 

No, it is not necessary for ENL teachers to speak students' native languages in order to teach English. ENL methodology uses English to teach English. Many ENL classes are composed of students speaking a dozen or more different languages. For example, Baldwinsville has had ENL students from the Ukraine, Turkey, China, Russia, Puerto Rico, Bosnia, Brazil, Taiwan, and Moldova! Even if a teacher could speak all of the languages, to do so would be confusing and chaotic in a classroom setting. 

How do you teach someone whose language you don't speak?

ENL teachers use a method known as "comprehensible input" meaning they find ways to make the language comprehensible to the student (by simplifying, adding context clues, scaffolding, gesturing, etc.) so that it can serve as input to the language-learning part of the brain. The human brain is wired to acquire language; give it plenty of data, and it will sort out the patterns of language.

You acquire English as a child through comprehensible input i.e., people use language around you and help you understand its meaning. ENL students can acquire English in much the same way. Actually, anyone can acquire a new language this way, too, if they are in the right environment!

What does an ENL teacher do, anyway?

An ENL teacher is a language development expert who teaches literacy (ELA) : Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and American Culture.
ENL teachers follow NYS approved curriculums and incorporate 21st century skills instruction. 

Is ENL a support or a remedial service?

Neither. ENL is a developmental English Language Arts program. ENL programs have NYS ENL (New Language Arts) Progressions and their own annual assessment (NYSESLAT). The ENL teachers integrate literacy and content to teach language. In a co-teaching situation, ENL teachers and classroom teachers co-plan and co-teach lessons together equally. The SIOP Model is often used in a co-teaching situation.

The ENL teacher administers the annual NYS ENL Assessment called the NYSESLAT. This is a four-part NYS assessment given over four days each April/May to all ENL students in NYS. It consists of Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening sections. The scores are used to determine the language proficiency level for the next school year: Entering, Emerging, Transitioning, Expanding & Commanding. For more information, visit the NYS Education Department website

Do ENL students need ENL services every day?

There are specific weekly time requirements for English Language Learners (ELLs) depending on their proficiency level: Entering, Emerging, Transitioning, Expanding & Commanding. Minutes can be distributed across the week as scheduling allows (as opposed to a certain number daily), keeping in mind the best interest of the student.

Where can I find more information on the NYS ENL (New Language Arts) Progressions? 

New Language Arts Progressions (which will replace ENL Learning Standards) are located here:

Do ENL students have testing accommodations? 

Yes. Follow this link for additional information:

Does the Dignity for All Act apply English Language Learners? 

Yes. The Dignity for All Act took effect on July 1, 2012. It seeks to provide students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying on school property, a school bus, and/or at a school function.

Does an ENL teacher also serve as a translator or interpreter?

No, an ENL teacher teaches English Language Arts. A translator or interpreter is a completely different job description requiring the person to be bilingual and fluent in a specific language. Translators are hired by the school district on a part-time basis to translate key documents to parents into the student’s home language. They may also be used to translate NYS assessments into rare languages.