The Language Academy provides additional instruction and support for students who are English Language Learners. The program was developed to assist students in achieving the academic English necessary for success in a college preparatory high school environment.
Students will gain proficiency in English, as well as receive additional academic support. Coursework through the Academy is mandatory for any student in his/her first year in a United States school or for students who lack English proficiency. Students are placed in the Language Academy based on High School Placement Test language scores. An interview takes place with the Coordinator during the summer before the student begins at MDCHS.
Mater Dei is committed to helping students with the necessary support programs that can prepare them to pursue a four-year university. All of our Language Academy teachers have been specially trained to guide students towards this path. “We see about 75% of students who were in the Language Academy matriculate to four-year universities. Some Language Academy students go on to become members of the National Honors Society and 8-10 percent wind up in the Academy of Science,” said Language Academy Coordinator Mr. Cliff Rachlin.
One of the things that makes this program so successful is the small class size, which is capped at 25. “Everyone at Mater Dei demonstrates tremendous collaboration and support to ensure student success,” added Mr. Rachlin. “One of the goals of the Language Academy is accessibility, which over time helps students not to feel different, but gives them confidence in themselves and their abilities.
The program at Mater Dei offers intensive help to first-year students with continued support through graduation. In addition, students can receive after school tutoring, which is available to all students, not just those with language barriers.
How Students Qualify: First-year students who score below a certain level on the language portion of the High School Placement Test are interviewed for placement into the Language Academy.