“We can't get the future we wanted if we fail to take advantage of the STEM education, we must open students all over the world to it, in order for us to get the future we can all be proud of.” ~Bamigboye Olurotimi



Most people will remember and agree that the middle school years are turbulent at best; so, developing an effective ESL program for middle school students needs to consider not only the expected stresses but allow for the unsettling problems facing this particular age group who have limited abilities to communicate comfortably in English.  Combined with their lack of English proficiency, these students must face the normal challenges of peer pressures, puberty, compounded and coupled with cultural misunderstandings and racial unrest in our nation.  We see all the ingredients for needing a more complex, dynamic approach to teaching that is inclusive and compassionate.  E.S.L. students are straddling two cultures, and often with parents who may or may not speak English fluently and who unfortunately, may be  economically insecure.

Understanding the reality of these issues we strive here at C.M.S. for cohesion instead of divisions and want our students to feel a part of the C.M.S. family and not alienated.  We tailor our lesson plans to their educational needs and learning goals, keeping in mind, always, their unique social and emotional needs.

Mission OF C.C.S. E.S.L. PROGRAM

The mission of the Cleveland City Schools ESL Program is to value, engage, and empower students and families from multilingual backgrounds within our schools and throughout the community. 



Project Based Learning (PBL) is a constructivist instructional approach where students are engaged in meaningful inquiry of personal interest to them and where collaboration and personalized learning are emphasized. Research confirms that PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn and develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career and civic life.

The students learned ten new vocabulary words through the Flocabulary music video about Penguins: balance, base, dive, enemy, instrument, march, ocean, seal, stack, team.  The students will complete various language based activities with the words, while learning about penguins, their habitat, and adaptations.

Students will discuss whole-group and with partners the issues and hardships that face communities. Students will read about how one person transformed their talent into a way to help others. Reading of the text will be differentiated by including read aloud, internal summaries, repeat reading, and discussion. They will utilize prior knowledge and grade level vocabulary to read the article, speak about the article, write to respond to the essential question, and to create a community event fundraiser advertisement. The activities below are aligned to state standards, sequenced from “we do” to “you do,” and they provide many opportunities for accommodation of student abilities.



Our ESL department at Cleveland Middle School has planned to continue hosting Family Culture Awareness Events throughout the year. These events will bring ELL students and their families together into a safe and welcoming environment promoting a sense of belonging and acceptance. 

Finally, Cleveland Middle School offers two open houses each semester after school where parents are encouraged to come in and talk with. meet with, and get to know teachers. Additionally, our teachers are happy to setup parent conferences as needed to ensure that the needs of the student are being addressed.

Cleveland Middle School will participate in a district multi-cultural night in winter 2020 as well as a program called "Coffee and Conversation" that will begin in September. These events will strengthen school, community, and family partnerships by celebrating the diversity of our student population and opening multiple lines of communication.


Additionally, bilingual families will have the opportunity to opt-in to text message school announcements in Spanish via the Remind app.  Other apps that have proven helpful in communication with our E.S.L. population is TalkingPoints and Google Translate.  Our English Language Learning program offered through the Tennessee Electronic Library [TEL], called Transparent Language, which expands our language offerings of over 105 different language courses, including English.  With its instructor portal, teachers are able to customize the material around an existing curriculum.