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ESL Program

Mount Bell Academy has created an ESL program to accommodate students who are still developing their English language skills or who do not yet meet the English proficiency levels needed to succeed in American schools and universities. The program is open to both local and international students who could benefit from extra hours of English study and who desire the opportunity to focus primarily on their English language development through intensified study.

Our classes are fun, engaging and effective! With Mount Bell Academy’s family-like atmosphere, small class sizes, expert staff and friendly student population our ESL students quickly feel comfortable and confident in participating in academic learning and cultural exchange. Apart from the four hours of English language study, there are also many other courses, extra-curricular activities and social opportunities that both ESL students and the regular college-prep students participate in together. These courses and interactions help students further develop their English language skills and, most importantly, they help ready the student for full-immersion. It is the goal of the ESL program that all ESL students will have completed the program within one year and become fully immersed in college-prep courses alongside their American peers –the ultimate goal being high school graduation and college admission!

ESL Program Details

  • The ESL Program schedule includes 4 hours of English Language Learning each morning.
  • The ESL hours are broken into four areas of focus: Reading, Conversation, Listening & Speaking and Grammar & Writing.
  • Students will work on pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, writing, reading, listening, speaking and communication.
  • After lunch, students participate in extra-curricular and elective courses with our local students.
  • There are four levels: ESL 1 (beginning), ESL 2 (high beginning), ESL 3 (intermediate), ESL 4 (high intermediate).
  • Advanced ESL students (or those who have completed our ESL 4 course) will have the opportunity to take English 1.
  • Students start at the appropriate level according to their fluency and move through the levels as they are able.
  • Our goal is to have our students complete all four levels within one year.
  • Upon completion of English 1, students may take an English Literature course.
  • Students who have already taken a non-ESL English course may be able to enter directly into one of literature courses.
  • The ESL program is open to both local and international students.


What are the program benefits?

Student working on homework in classroom– 4 hours of ESL English a day.
– Enrollment in the same elective courses and activities that our local American students take.
– Participation in the same sports, clubs and extra-curricular activities as our local American students.
– Improvement in reading, writing and speaking in both social and academic environments.
– Preparation for full immersion into college or college-prep courses.
– College guidance and SAT test taking prep from our experienced staff.
– High school graduation and diploma!

What is the program goal?

Immersion is our goal!

How does it work?

– ESL program students will interact with local and American students through clubs, extra-curricular activities, elective courses and social opportunities.
– Students will take accelerated ESL courses in order to improve their English to a level that allows for full immersion.
– Within one year or less, students should no longer need ESL courses.
– Within one year, students will become fully immersed in regular college prep courses along-side their American peers!

Why is Immersion so important?

– Full immersion helps students learn English quickly and with more native fluency.
– Full immersion gives students more social opportunities.
– Students who plan to apply for Universities need non-ESL courses on their transcripts.
– The University of California expects students to take at least 4 years of high school English. To meet admission requirements, UC schools only accept one year of ESL English.
– Chances of admission to prestigious university improves when a student has already taken a non-ESL English course, particularly in Literature or Advanced English.

What is taught in the ESL

– pronunciation – conversation – vocabulary – grammar – writing – reading comprehension and fluency – reading across subject matter – reading & responding to literature – listening skills –  – speaking and presentation skills – communication skills – social skills – preparation for non-ESL courses taken at the high school and college level

How many hours of English?

Students have 4 hours of ESL English a day.

How many hours of English?

ESL 1 (beginning)
ESL 2 (high beginning)
ESL 3 (intermediate)
ESL 4 (high intermediate)
English 1 (Advanced)

How long does it take to complete the ESL program?

– It takes about 1 year to complete all four levels of ESL.
– Students enter the program at their appropriate level.
– The higher the level a student enters into, the less time it will take to complete the program.
– After completion of ESL 4, students can take English 1.
– Upon completion of English 1, students may take an English Literature course.


  • Students also learn other subject matter during the day when they are not in their ESL English classes.
  • Students will take these classes alongside their American peers.
  • Students can choose their elective course from the schedule of classes, which may include art, math, science, sports, history, music, Spanish and Chinese.


There are many social opportunities where both American and international students can mingle and interact. Here are a few:

  • Fieldtrips: A number of class and school-wide fieldtrips are planned each year.
  • Clubs & Organizations: We have created a time within the school day when every student comes together to participate in special interest clubs and student organizations like Leadership and Student Government.
  • Sports: Mount Bell Academy has a competitive sports program in golf, tennis, swimming and archery where students can mingle and compete with other students from inside and outside the school.
  • Community Service: This is a great opportunity for students to get to know the surrounding community, meet people within and outside their own school, learn more about American society, participate in improvement projects, and give back to the community
  • School Improvement Projects: Students have an opportunity to work together in improving their learning environment through creating instillation art and other school improvement projects.
  • Social Activities: Each year the student council creates social opportunities for students such as parties, dances, luncheons, games, and other fun activities.
  • Lunch & Recess: All students have lunch and recess at the same time. Students share a common lunch room and have the opportunity to sit together, meet, converse and even explore the neighborhood (when given off-campus privileges).
  • Class Projects: Students work together to complete class projects and group activities. At times students may be asked to communicate and meet after school in order to complete projects.

How to Apply?

Information coming soon.