Multi-Lingual Learners

Catherine and Count Basie’s English as a Multi-Lingual Learner Program 

 Multi-Lingual Learner

Here at Catherine and Count Basie Middle School 72 we aim to provide our students with the vocabulary and grammatical structures needed for students to thrive in school and beyond. We have done this by teaching our Multilingual Learners (MLLs) through specifically designed thematic units that encourage our MLLs to grasp the academic, social, and cultural aspects of the English language. These thematic units introduce our students to various aspects of American life whilst encouraging them to share their own story and culture.  


We also recognize that there are other aspects to being successful in a New York middle school. In designing a program for our MLL population we focused on three key elements: 


1)      Biculturalism 

We encourage our students to embrace their own linguistic and cultural heritage whilst learning English. We believe that learning English should not be about replacing one culture with another, and we therefore make sure that there our students have the opportunity to celebrate their own cultures within the classroom environment. Our students will not achieve true biculturalism if they are not encouraged to nurture self-pride and self-identity in their own linguistic and cultural heritage. 


2)      Proficiency in all Content Areas 

At Catherine and Count Basie we recognize the fact that there is a big difference between learning conversational English and learning academic English. We have created a program that embraces ELA, science, math and social studies. By utilizing this program, we are able to teach our students academic language for all the major content areas. It is our goal that our students will reach a high level of proficiency in all content areas by the time they move on to high school. 


3)      Inclusion in Extracurricular Programs 

We believe that a great school should offer great extracurricular activities and programs. At Catherine and Count Basie we have extracurricular programs designed to meet the needs of all children, including our MLL population. As such, we ensure that all relevant information is sent home in the preferred language of our parents. The ENL teacher is also always ready to make sure that our MLL students understand everything that is available to our students and that our MLL students are given access to all relevant materials. 


If you are interested in learning more about our ENL program, then please do not hesitate to contact our ENL teacher at