The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) recently recognized 11 districts for outstanding second language programs.

The districts, which were honored at a ceremony in Trenton, will serve as models of best practices in world language, dual language, bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs.

The programs were identified through a process that included extensive program review, as well as a site visit conducted by state officials, college professors, and world language and bilingual/ESL program supervisors. NJDOE developed criteria to designate the exemplary second language programs.

“Second language studies are integral to scholastic achievement and student success. New languages open minds and hearts to diversity in cultures, races, religions and social interaction,” said Education Commissioner Lamont O. Repollet. “This kind of motivational and global instruction is key to challenging and channeling student learning.”

NJDOE recognizes exemplary second language programs every two years, and the 11 model programs will serve as resource centers for other districts for that period.

Educators can visit the schools to observe exemplary practices in second language teaching, learning and assessment in the classroom. Administrators and teachers also will be able to discuss issues of mutual concern with staff from the centers, as well as have the potential for collaboration on their second language programs.

Of the 11 awards, four were presented for world language programs, one was presented for dual language programming, and six were awarded for bilingual/ESL programs.

The four districts receiving awards for world languages are:

  • West Morris Regional High School District (9-12 World Languages Program)
  • Ocean City High School (American Sign Language Program)
  • West Windsor-Plainsboro (K-12 World Languages Program)
  • Egg Harbor Township (Hispañohablantes/Heritage Speaker Program)

The district receiving an award for dual language is:

  • HoLa (Hoboken) Dual Language Charter School

The six districts receiving awards for bilingual/ ESL are:

  • Atlantic City High School Newcomer Center
  • Howell Township ESL Program Grades K-8
  • Linden ESL Program grades K-12
  • Franklin Township (Somerset County) Bilingual Program grades K-4, ESL Program Grades K-4 and 9-12
  • Passaic City Bilingual Program Grades K-8
  • Vineland Bilingual Program Grades K-5 and 9-12, ESL Program Grades K-5, 9-12