The term ESOL means English for Speakers of Other Languages.

    The mission of the ESOL program is to provide English instruction for students whose native language is not English and who do not yet have sufficient English Skills to allow them to be successful in school. There are eight schools within the Escambia School District that have ESOL classes: five elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Pensacola High School is the high school ESOL center for the school district.

    The ESOL program at PHS began in 1980, in response to the great number of immigrants coming to this area at that time from Southeast Asia. Although many different languages are represented within our student population, almost twenty-five years later the language spoken by the greatest number of students continues to be Vietnamese.

    The ESOL program in Escambia County and in all Florida counties operates under a consent decree: the school districts are required to provide ESOL services for eligible students. Technically, therefore, even though students come to Pensacola High School from all over the county in order to take ESOL, the ESOL program is not a magnet program in the true sense of the word.

    Students are determined to be eligible for ESOL services by a number of criteria. Test scores, teacher recommendations, and parent requests are among those criteria. Personnel providing services for the ESOL students at Pensacola High School include two ESOL teachers, a teacher aide, a Title 1 Migrant guidance counselor, a home-school liaison, and the District ESOL specialist.

    In addition to Vietnamese, the native languages of the ESOL students currently at PHS include Arabic, Tagalog, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Losi, Japanese, Gujarati, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali. What a fascinating group.

Contact Katherine Frazier for more information.