Academics at TJ

English Language Learners

The ESL program is designed to meet the language needs of new international students who are at a high-basic to advanced level of English. The objective is to acclimate students to the culture and standards of TJ’s English and Social Studies programs, as well as to the expectations of all of their future academic coursework at TJ and beyond.
Through the study of literature, history, and culture, utilizing both fiction and nonfiction texts and a variety of media, students work to develop and improve all of their English language skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Additionally, much emphasis is placed on expanding students’ vocabulary and refining their control of advanced English grammar structures. Students are held to very high expectations that model the college-preparatory nature of our curriculum.

The Language and Literature courses, offered at the Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced levels, mirror the reading material and expectations of TJ’s English program, while providing a supportive environment in which language-learning students feel comfortable making mistakes and practicing newly learned English structures and vocabulary. The additional courses—Culture, Tradition, and Change, and The Individual and Society—provide an environment in which students hone their academic language skills related to the variety of disciplines they will engage in at TJ. These courses are based in social studies and provide a unique “across disciplines” learning environment in which academic discussion and debate, individual and collaborative projects, and persuasive writing and speaking are all emphasized. Ultimately, the goal is to push students to advanced proficiency in English, while also fostering a deep understanding of American culture that will serve them in all of their future academic and personal pursuits.

Thomas Jefferson School

4100 S. Lindbergh Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63127
P. (314) 843-4151
F. (314) 843-3527