The ESL department teaches English to all students at The New Jersey Japanese School. Students are placed in classes according to their English experience.
A class: For students with little to no experience in English.
B class: For students with some English experience.
B2 class: For students in grades 4-6 with a moderate amount of English experience.
C class: For students with a great deal of English experience or native English speakers.
Newcomer class: For students with little to no experience in English.
Speaking/Listening class: For students who have some experience with English. Focus is on becoming more outgoing with English.
Reading/Writing class: For students who have some experience with English. Focus is on accuracy in using English.
My name is Nancy Dal Cortivo. I have been a teacher for 34 years. I have been teaching the A class at The New Jersey Japanese School for 15 years. In middle school, I teach the Reading/Writing class.
Prior to working at The New Jersey Japanese School, I was teaching special education.
I hold a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in ESL. I am certified to teach ESL, Special Education, Elementary School, and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
I have traveled to Japan twice-once in 2009 with the U.S. Educators Program, and in 2013 to speak at a symposium on English education held in Tokushima.
The goal in my classes is to learn English through meaning. We use conversation in a fun and interesting way. I want my students to enjoy learning English!
In elementary school, we do this through thematic units. Some examples of thematic units we learn are spring, sports, the family, and Halloween.
In middle school, we do this through reading interesting books and working on fun activities, in addition to completing projects that include both writing and speaking. One project that my students complete is a “History of Anything” slide presentation. They choose a topic and create a Google Slides presentation. They present this to the class and speak about their topic.
Hi. My name is Sandra Mastromarino. I hold a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education and have been teaching for the past 15 years. I have taught in both the public and private school setting. Prior to coming to the Japanese School, I taught at a Montessori private school where students of mixed ages and abilities were immersed in a discovery model classroom to learn about the American culture through center activities and thematic units. In addition to this training, I also taught reading in the Tenafly Public Schools where I taught the reading process focusing on the 5 pillars of literacy that includes developing phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, fluency and vocabulary as the foundations for reading.
Here at the Japanese school, I combine these teaching models daily. In the intermediate classroom, I teach students to read and write through thematic units focusing on reading comprehension, vocabulary development and conversation practice that we then apply in writing. Reading is done through interactive reading, sharing and discussing key points in stories to promote language and comprehension and writing in response to our reading.
My goal in my classroom is for students to become good readers as well as writers, but also to be able to hold a conversation in English.
My name is Nadia Stern. I have been a teacher for over 10 years and have been teaching at the New Jersey Japanese School for the past two and a half years. In the elementary school, I teach the B2 class and in the middle school, I teach the Newcomer class.
Before coming to the New Jersey Japanese School, I was an ESL teacher at the Paterson Adult School and then stayed at home for some years to be with my children.
I hold a Master’s Degree in Education from William Paterson University with a concentration in Learning Technologies. I am a certified ESL and Elementary School teacher.
In my elementary school class, my students are at a high beginner level, and I try to teach them English through speaking, listening, reading and writing. I help them increase their vocabulary so that they can read and comprehend with more ease, as well as write with more content and detail. We like to use opportunities for speaking about everyday life as well as thematic topics, such as holidays, sports, family and food.
In middle school, my goal is to teach students the basic building blocks of English like the alphabet, letter sounds, and eventually basic grammar like nouns and verbs. They learn basic vocabulary based on a theme, such as family, the body, the community…etc. Eventually, they are able to speak and write in simple sentences. Seeing this progress makes teaching so rewarding!
I enjoy teaching ESL and try to incorporate educational games in my classes at times to keep learning fun!
My name is Robin Gillesheimer. I have been teaching the C class for 2 years. I also teach middle school literature. Prior to teaching here I had taken time off from teaching to stay at home and raise my children. While I was at home raising my children I was a tutor at a reading center called Reading Town. I tutored Korean children in ESL.
I graduated from Montclair State University with a major in Psychology. I went on to work as an instructional aide in a private school with special education children. While working there I was asked to go back to school to become a special education teacher. I happily accepted their idea and went to Bloomfield College were I received a degree in regular and special education. I am certified to teach children in K-12.
The goal in my classes is to have the children gain a better understanding of English and to learn the concepts of language arts, grammar, and reading skills. In my literature class the students learn about figurative and literary elements.
In the elementary school we read books, news articles, and magazines. The children may have to answer comprehension questions related to these or write a summary. In the upper elementary school grades the children also have to write essays and biographies.
In the literature class I have the class read novels. We use the novels to learn the different types of literary elements that take place in a novel. The class also writes summaries and journal entries. This class continues to learn about grammar, and it has some language arts components.
It really is a pleasure to be able to teach at this school. The children and staff are so polite and welcoming. It truly is a great experience.