East Brunswick Public Schools

Excellence in Academics, Athletics and the Arts

Excellence in Academics, Athletics and the Arts

World Language/ESL/Bilingual Education  

Mrs. Ruth Chang, Supervisor
Barbara Alexander, Secretary


The ability to communicate in more than one language expands students’ views as well as educates them to participate in the global community. Developing a strong language proficiency in a world language enhances students’ 21st century skill set so students are more marketable in the areas of trade, business, marketing, national security, military, law, philosophy, STEM, public health, art, film, music, dance, fashion, cuisine. In addition, students gain the personal satisfaction of their ability to understand the perspectives of other people and to communicate with them.  

In 2016-2017, all fourth and fifth grade East Brunswick students will begin studying Spanish. When students go to Hammarskjold, they have the option to continue Spanish or begin the study of French, German or Italian. Our full language program continues through the 12th grade. At the high school level, courses include academic level courses in all languages, Spanish Medical Professions Honors, French and Spanish Business Honors, and AP courses for those who meet the requirements.

New Jersey Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy certifies that students are bilingual in English and a second language. Students who are proficient in English and meet Intermediate-Mid proficiency in a world language will receive the NJ Seal of Biliteracy certificate and will have this noted on their high school transcript. This distinction is viewed as an asset when applying for a job or for college admission.


World Languages Facilitate Connections

In world language classrooms interdisciplinary connections promote critical thinking, problem solving and knowledge retention. Study of a world language makes it possible so that these skills and knowledge base become the foundation for global interactions. Here are examples of how world language study reinforces other content areas:


  • Language Arts/English
    • Develop an ability to communicate effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences
    • Integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking
  • Social studies
    • Become interested, informed and active participants in the world both locally and globally
  • Science
    • Develop skills in problem-solving, gathering and interpreting data
    • Investigate the natural world in the world cultures studied
  • Health education
    • Develop awareness of the mental, social, physical and emotional aspects of a  healthy individual
    • Draw conclusions about cultural comparisons of these aspects
  • Technology and computer education
    • Engage in hands-on, problem-solving activities related to real-world issues through the use of numerous applications
    • Conduct online research to gain insight into products, practices, and perspectives of world cultures
    • Use technology to collaborate and problem-solve with native speakers
  • Arts 
    • Explore the perspective and products of the arts in other cultures
    • Express oneself creatively


World Language Proficiency Levels

When studying world language and culture, our goal is to reach the highest proficiency language level possible in a 6-12 environment. The world language program focuses on what the students CAN DO with language. From day one, the students are immersed in listening to and speaking the world language. The classes are rich in activities that promote student acquisition of this language and culture. As the students advance in their studies, they have opportunities to develop global perspectives in business and culture and medical professions. After seven years of study, students are equal to those who can be employed by the Foreign Service. Our students do reach a high level of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening.



ESL/Bilingual Programs
The English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and Bilingual Education programs serve students who speak languages other than English. The programs are designed to help the students become sufficiently proficient in English to participate in English-language activities. About 240 students from 16 different language backgrounds are currently in ESL classes. The English language learners remain in the program until they are proficient in English. While in ESL, they also attend regular classes in English. Students enter the ESL and bilingual education program after it has been determined through testing that their English proficiency is limited. State guidelines are followed to determine their proficiency level.

Our English language learners are also immersed in the acquisition of a world language, English. Teachers work with each student to build their language proficiency and also support their understanding of the English-speaking content areas.

Throughout the school year, the ESL teachers invite English language learners and their families to Literacy events at four different schools.

  UNESCO World Heritage Day

Celebrating cultural diversity is done in French with our students in Madame Laurie's class at East Brunswick High School. They join together to celebrate their own cultures and also to develop greater understanding of friends' cultures. 

 Are You as Smart as a 6th grader? 
HMS students of French are invited to join Madame Ferreira after school to learn about the history of France. Most recently, they learned about La Grotte de Lascaux, the Roman conquest of the Celts in Gaul, and the Roman architecture in the southern France. Witness their enthusiasm!


  Can you paint like Arcimboldo? 

The students of Italian in Signore Keenan classes have learned to paint like the the Italian artist, Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Their work is exhibited in Churchill Junior High School! Grazie!`

 ESL Literacy Night Spotlights the Democratic Process


On Monday, November 28th, Elizabeth Dunn, principal of Lawrence Brook and Ruth Chang, Supervisor of World Languages, ESL/Bilingual Education supported ESL teachers, Nancy Lombardi and Jenelle Temes in hosting this year's first ESL Literacy Event. Key to the success of this event is the teamwork of all our district's ESL teachers from grades K-12. Each prepared a literacy station with a focus on the theme: The Democratic Process. Students registered to vote and then voted for their favorite lunch menu and others read My Teacher for President and compared responsibilities of teachers and presidents, still others engaged in vocabulary building activities. Students from HMS, CJHS, and EBHS were the student leaders and presenters at their  stations.
In addition, the East Brunswick Public Library brought bilingual books and facilitated the registration process for library cards for our ESL parents/guardians and students. Over 125 English language learners and their families came to participate in our English literacy event. 



Life Cycle of Frogs in ESL Classes at Chittick

From egg to tadpole to frog....our English language learners in Ms. Riello-Connors' class can share with you this magical life cycle. 

 Frogs1   Frogd 2

  Spanish Begins Before the Bell at HMS

¡Hola! Students of Spanish at Hammarskjold begin talking in Spanish before the bell rings. Here is an example of how students take charge! ¡Gracias Sra Cortes-Fabrizio!

Questions1   Questions2   Questions 3


East Brunswick's Inaugural World Language Expo at HMS

Rising sixth graders have a golden opportunity to select a world language to study when they come to Hammarskjold. They can continue Spanish or opt to study German, Italian or French. Herr Lavery and Signore Keenan rallied the world language department to host a World Language Expo. World language teachers invited their current students to showcase and share what they are learning in their German, Italian, French or Spanish classes. On this cold, Friday, December evening, Dr. Gaskell, HMS principal, and Ruth Chang, World Language Supervisor, welcomed our 2017-2018 curious fifth graders and their families in the HMS cafeteria. Wilkommen! Benvenuto! Bienvenue! ¡Bienvenido! 


Spanish at EBHS 

Experience Traditional Colombian Culture and Cuisine
 Noches de Colombia is a restaurant that spotlights authentic Colombian cuisine and dance. Our EBHS students of Spanish in Senora Baez-Cardona's classes regaled with the choicest Colombian dishes. They also learned how to dance a variety of cultural dances.  What do they have to say about it? ¡Me gusta! ¡Me fascina! ¡Me encanta! 

 Sp Field Trip   Sp Field Trip2

Sp. Field Trip3  
What Career Path Should I Choose?  
 Students of Spanish know that this is the second most-spoken language in the USA and they have begun to read and explore careers where Spanish is an asset. Spotlighted here are two: La vida de un CSI and La vide de un oficial de policia. Our students can read in Spanish and present what they read! ¡Buen trabajo! Getting closer to becoming biliterate!

 Sp 1   Sp 2


Sharing Dreams at the ESL Literacy Night 

Debra Gulick, Director of Curriculum, joined Ruth Chang, Supervisor of World Languages/ESL/Bilingual Education to support Fatima McKinnon and Victoria Herrera prepare Irwin School to host 100 English language learners and their families. Our district's K-12 ESL teachers worked together to celebrate our second ESL literacy event called, Sharing Dreams. 

Nearly 100 K-12 English language learners came with their families to meet their ESL teachers, Irwin's Basic Skills teachers and East Brunswick Public librarians to read, write, talk and learn about famous people who dared to dream. Students read Todd Parr’s The Peace Book, Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream and wrote acts of kindness on a paper chain. Others developed their own life dream and shared on a world map where they came from before settling in East Brunswick. All left with free books to continue reading at home. 

 You are bilingual! What do you want to be 

Churchill Junior High School students of French in Madame Williams' classes are dreaming about their futures. In French, they researched a wide variety of careers and then presented to other classes of French-speaking students. It's a time to dream and plan for the future! In addition, our students are on their way to improving their language proficiency in French! Oh là là! C'est bien intéressant!