• Name: Laurie Neff
    Subject: English as a Second Language
    Contact info: llneff@wsfcs.k12.nc.us 336.703-4212, ext. 609

    Welcome to Mrs. Neff's ESL website!

    worldwide handshake 

    This year is going to be a great one in ESL!



    ESL is the abbreviation for English as a Second Language.  For those of us who have been raised in a community or a family that is English-speaking, English may not seem so difficult, but for people from other communities or countries, or whose families speak something else, English can be very hard.  That is why we spend some extra time and attention on students learning English after they already know a different language well.

    What do we do in class?  So very many things!  We focus on language, of course, but that means that we teach things like reading and writing and vocabulary, along with conceptual things like math or science sometimes.  Language is needed in order to participate in so much of life; language is POWER!  Whether the students' needs are academic or social, whether they are doing homework or going grocery shopping, we help them get what they need.  Practical issues, cultural differences, and educational emphases are all important elements; and the emotional aspect of the students' situation is also a priority.  In ESL, we help facilitate success in each of these areas with all-encompassing support, along with a safe place offered in which to take risks and learn.

    This year our team consists of Mrs. Garcia, Ms. Smith, Mrs. Robertson, Ms. Moretz and me.  As a point of focus and foundation this year, we are using standards of grade level content along with language standards to strengthen both language and academic skills.  We will be honing in on vocabulary, word structure, and elements of writing, specifically, along with some other issues that arise concerning language and/or academics.  Each year we assess the four different domains of language:  listening, speaking, reading, and writing, so we incorporate growing in all of these into whatever we do.  The object of having ESL is to provide students that extra attention on the language facets of English and the bridges needed to master them so that they will no longer need ESL. 

    This year, Gibson is hosting different opportunities for families to peek in on and participate in what is going on here.  We hope that our families will come and be a part!  For each meeting, we hope to have an earlier time for our Hispanic families to get questions and concerns addressed, and then afterwards join the big meeting too.  It's really important that our families feel welcome and able to connect with what is happening in their children's lives at Gibson and that they can respond with participation in their education as well.  Please feel free to call the office for any details on how to connect clearly (we have a bilingual receptionist in the office) and we will certainly help that happen.

    It's so great to see our students growing!  I am hopeful that many will be participating in our tutoring program that is beginning soon.  Hopefully, the work they do will pay off in the classroom, in testing, and most of all in life.  If there are ever any needs or questions, please feel free to call the school (703-4212, room 609), make an appointment to come by my room in the 2nd grade pod, or, if you prefer writing, my email address is llneff@wsfcs.k12.nc.us.

    Mrs. Neff at the edge of Poas' lake crater.