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Multilingual Learners (MLL)

The ability to communicate in English is a critical need for students whose native language is not English and do not possess native proficiency in all language domains. The mission of the Multilingual Learners program in Pawtucket is to promote and enhance academic excellence for students through a variety of learning experiences and opportunities designed to ensure successful learning for all English Learners. The Pawtucket School Department offers K-12 programs supporting Multilingual Learners across all proficiency levels. Students are assessed annually using ACCESS 2.0. As students advance through each level of proficiency, they will acquire literacy in the four language domains: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Program Vision

The vision of the Pawtucket MLL Department is to foster equity in opportunity and access for all learners.  We work to provide high-quality, engaging and rigorous academic programming for varied levels of English language proficiency.  The MLL Department values and promotes native language skills, as it does the cultural assets that our students and families bring to the schools. 

Our Learners

Our district currently approximately 1,700 Multilingual Learners who represent countries around the world. 

Most common languages spoken by our students are:

  • Spanish
  • Portuguese/Portuguese Creole 
  • French/French Creole
  • Arabic
  • Wolof

Program Models

Sheltered Content Instruction

(Grades K-12)

Collaborative ESL and Sheltered Content

(Grades K-12)

Collaborative ESL and General Instruction

(Grades 1-12)

Dual Language Program

(K-5 at Greene Elementary)

Karen Stern

Director of EL/MLL Services

(401) 729-6366

Karen D. Stern has been an educator since graduating from Brown University in 1988 with a BA in Classics.  She has taught secondary English and then ESL/MLL after earning her MEd in Reading from Harvard University in 1991. In addition to her experience as a classroom teacher, she was an instructional coach, prior to becoming an administrator.  Currently, Ms Stern is the Multilingual Learner (MLL) Director for the Pawtucket School Department.

Ms. Stern serves as a board member for the Rhode Island Association of School Principals (RIASP) and the Brown Club of Rhode Island (BCRI).  She is a longstanding member of other professional organizations, including TESOL, RITELL and ASCD.  Ms Stern completed the NISL/NCEE (National Center on Education and the Economy) leadership program in 2020.  She is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the TESOL/BDL program at The University of Rhode Island, and the Chair-Elect of the State MLL Advisory Council.

Daniel G. Silva

Coordinator of EL/MLL Services

(401) 729-6378

Fax Number: (401) 729-6527