Language and International Culture Academy

Language and International Culture Academy Students at the secondary level, with no or very limited English skills, are transitioned into high school programs through intensive language development at the Language and International Culture Academy.  The academic language students are expected to master at these grade levels is far beyond what first year English students can pick up in the traditional classroom setting.  Many of these students have very limited formal schooling, migrant lifestyles, and low literacy levels in their native languages, making it extremely difficult to transition directly into a traditional secondary school setting.  Focused literacy instruction in English and sheltered exposure to academic content is essential for successful integration into mainstream classes.

The Language and International Culture Academy is located at Balfour Education Center (BEC) and is designed to serve recently arrived non-English speaking students in grades 9-12.  The program is a half-day in length, with students returning to their home schools daily to participate in classes with their native-English speaking peers.  The objectives of the program are:

  • To accelerate students’ English language and literacy skills
  • To create a welcoming, comfortable learning environment for students with little or no proficiency in English
  • To facilitate students’ acculturation to schooling in the United States
  • To provide supplementary instruction in core content areas

In order to be eligible to participate in the Newcomer Center, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolling in their first year of school in the United States
  • A composite proficiency level on the language screening test (W-APT) below 1.6;  students with a composite proficiency level (CPL) of less than 2.0 may still be eligible depending on their academic history and parent and teacher recommendations
  • Parent/Guardian grants permission to participate

Students in their second year of schooling in the USA may attend the Newcomer Center under the following circumstances:

  • Home school ESL teacher or principal recommendation
  • ESL Director & Language and International Culture Academy teacher approve recommendation
  • Parent/Guardian grants permission to participate

Balfour Education Center also provides a supportive ESL program for students who attend BEC and are more advanced English Language Learners.