One person of principle can always make a difference.
Student Experience

English Language Services Program

Our English Language Services (ELS) program provides targeted and customized language- and skills-based support for English language learners. Students strengthen their language abilities through an introduction to academic content and fortify their skills as they enter mainstream classes. The program is divided into two tracks: a first-year program that builds skills and a second- and third-year transitional support program that focuses on success in higher education and beyond. Placement in the program is determined when students arrive at Kents Hill.

Course Progression

List of 5 items.

  • Complex Communication

    This full-year course is a foundational program to begin facilitating skills for academic communication including understanding and expressing ideas in two or more languages (putting more emphasis on the connection between first/second language), communicating clearly to diverse audiences, listening attentively, speaking effectively, writing clearly and concisely for a variety of audiences, and explaining information and compellingly persuading others of its implications. This course will explore a variety of contextual situations including, but not limited to, debate, interview skills, presentation skills, digital literacy, and discussion-based scenarios. Complex Communication is the precursor course for students looking to enter English 1 the following year.
  • Scaffolding for Reading Comprehension

    This full-year course offers students the opportunity to explore a vast array of literature that helps grow academic curiosity while challenging the mind. This course will explore analytical and creative thinking strategies through problem-solving scenarios to help students focus primarily on identifying, managing, and addressing complex problems in literature. Students will also explore controlling information overload, formulating meaningful questions, analyzing and creating ideas and knowledge, imagining alternatives, developing cross-disciplinary knowledge and perspectives, engaging in sustained reasoning, solving new problems that don’t have rule-based solutions, and growing an intellectual curiosity for independent reading as a form of personal enjoyment.
  • Cultural Perspective

    This group and project-based, trimester course will take an in-depth look into the almost 200 years of the culture, leadership, and values of our campus. Specifically, A Husky History will focus primarily on exploring the history of the campus, buildings, faculty/staff, Heads of School, philosophies, and student life. Together, students will learn to initiate new ideas, facilitate group discussions, forge consensus, and negotiate outcomes. Students will also focus on collaborating sensitively and productively with people of varied backgrounds-coordinating tasks, managing groups, delegating responsibilities, and implementing decisions and meeting goals.
  • Global Perspective

    This full-year course breaks free of traditional cultural studies courses and allows students to focus primarily on developing open-mindedness, in particular regarding the values and traditions of others, studying and understanding non-western history, politics, religion, and culture. Students will learn to use technology to connect with people and events globally, develop social and intellectual skills to navigate effectively across cultures, and will learn to use 21st century skills to understand and address global issues.
  • English Language Support

    The support program will emphasize communication both orally and literarily as students enter mainstream classes. Common core standards reflected include, but are not limited to, rigorous focus on content and the application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills, interpreting shared information so as to be informed by other credible sources, to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society, and a rigorous focus on analytical/creative thinking and problem-solving. Throughout their time in the ELS program, students will keep a portfolio of their progress and will have the opportunity for testing at the conclusion of each trimester to gauge growth and proficiencies.


Kathryn Congleton
Director of International Student Support
Director of English Language Services (ELS)
1614 Main Street, Kents Hill, Maine 04349
Since 1824, Kents Hill School has been dedicated to providing transformative experiences rooted in the power of community, character, and core values.