English as a Second Language Program

English as a Second Language Program

The Watertown Public Schools has a comprehensive educational program for English Learners that provides English language instruction and academic content knowledge. The goal of this program is to provide students with the skills to function successfully in an English language environment.

The ESL program in Watertown uses an integrated Sheltered English Instruction model in all schools. A student spends a portion of the day integrated into regular classroom participating in English instruction with their age wise peers while working with ESL staff for the remainder of the day. The amount of classroom time and ESL support varies depending upon the student’s English ability, academic needs and grade level.

In 2012, the state of Massachusetts enacted major changes in standards, assessment and regulations for ESL programs. The adoption of the WIDA standards and the ACCESS test will change the primary goal of ESL instruction from focusing solely on language based instruction, to focus on social and instructional English used within the school context. Greater emphasis will be placed on content based instruction of the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies across the four language domains. The ACCESS test will assess students on language use in an academic context and will give us a better picture of students ability to work in the mainstream classroom.

Translation and Interpreter Services

How to Request an Interpreter or a Translator

What is the difference between an interpreter and a translator?

An interpreter is a person who takes an oral message from one language and expresses the intent and meaning of the message accurately in another language. Interpreters can be arranged for parent conferences, school meetings, or any other information that needs to be communicated to parents in a language they understand. If you need assistance with this form contact: Diane Ferrigno

A translator is someone who translates a written document from one language to another. The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program office can translate special education and other documents into a language parents understand.

How do I request an interpreter ?

If you need an interpreter, please fill out the New Interpreter Services Request Form.

How do I request a translator?

If you need an IEP translated please contact the Sped Department. For other documents please email Kate Phillipson

What happens next?

For Interpreters - Diane Ferrigno will contact you with information about the interpreter scheduled. Please allow for sufficient processing time. It is difficult to find interpreters for some languages so lead time is necessary.

For Translations -Send the document to Kate Phillipson and she will arrange to have the document translated. Once it is complete, she will send you the translated document.

Working with an Interpreter

If you would like some tips on how to work with an interpreter please click the documents below.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, feel free to contact:

Kate Phillipson
ELE/ESL District Coordinator

Watertown Public School
30 Common Street
Watertown, MA 02472