English as a Second Language

ESL logo

ESL Program Specialist: Ms. McConnell


Dauphin County Technical School has 23 active English language learners.  Four different languages including Spanish, Urdu, Arabic, and Vietnamese are spoken.  Nine different countries are represented in the ESL program.  

The goal of the ESL program is to provide planned instruction in listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English to students with English as their second language.  These skills will help enable them to fully participate in their academic classes, in their career programs, and also in the community.

The ESL Program Specialist is Kristi McConnell.  She came to Dauphin County Technical School from the CAIU, having taught K-12 ESL in Halifax, Upper Dauphin, Middletown, and Prince of Peace Schools. Before the CAIU, Mrs. McConnell brought experience from a large community college in suburban Chicago and an elementary school with high numbers of non-English speaking students where she ran a program with over 100 English language learners.  She has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.  If you need to contact her, the following is her contact information:

 Kristi McConnell, M. Ed.

ESL Program Specialist

(717) 652-3170 ext. 2111

 Common ESL Acronyms:

BICS - Basic Interpersonal Communications Skills
CALP - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
ELL - English Language Learner
ELD - English Language Development
ESL - English as a Second Language
ESOL - English to Speakers of Other Languages
LEP - Limited English Proficiency
CLD - Culturally & Linguistically Diverse
HLS - Home Language Survey
NES - Non-English Speaker
FES - Fluent English Speaker
LES - Limited English Speaker
TESOL =- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

ESL Placement Procedures
  1.  Home Language Survey - identifies all students who speak a language other than English at home.
  2.  Interview student and check cumulative folder to see if student has had previous ESL support.
  3.  If student is a newcomer or has never been tested, then a W-APT will be given to assess English language proficiency level.
  4.  If the student has taken a WIDA ACCESS English test before, that score will provide his/her English language level.
ELP levels: http://www.hbgsd.k12.pa.us/Page/247

Parent Notification of Placement

NCLB requires that parents/guardians be notified of ESL Program placement within 30 days of the start of school and 14 days of registration thereafter.


English language learners receive English language instruction in their core content classes which include English, social studies, science, mathematics, and also during their career preparation program. The content area teachers collaborate with the ESL teacher to modify and adapt instruction and assessment.  ESL instruction is taught through both a Sheltered English program model and also through an inclusion model.

Accommodations for English Language Learners

Accommodations are made for Ells based on the individual needs and/or levels of each student.  A list of possible accommodations are available in the ESL classroom.

Exit Criteria

In order to qualify for exiting the ESL program, students must:
  1.  Score basic on the PA Keystone standardized test.
  2. Score of 5.0 on a Tier C of the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs assessment.

One of the two is required:

  1.  Final report card grades of C or better in English, math, social studies, and science.
  2.  Scores on district-wide assessments that are comparable to the Basic performance level on the Keystone standardized test (ex. CDTs).