The article on the study conducted by Edmund W. Gordon {front page, Sept. 11} has left many Montgomery County school system ESOL/bilingual staff members confused and angry.

The statement that "the study criticized the school system's program, English for Speakers of Other Languages," because it "focuses too much on language lessons and too little on students' adjustment to U.S. culture" does not accurately reflect what is in the report. Rather the report stresses the need for the school system to recognize the multiple roles assumed by the ESOL/bilingual staff in an effort to meet the many needs of students with limited English proficiency.

Dr. Gordon states that "if it is decided that it is not appropriate for (ESOL/bilingual) teachers to fill these many services, then other members of the MCPS {Montgomery County Public Schools} must be identified to fill in the void." The report further states that "MCPS, as a system, has simultaneously supported the efforts of the ESOL department to meet the needs of the language minority students and distanced itself from the responsibility for educating these students," and that "the ESOL staff has come to assume responsibility for meeting the needs of students with limited English proficiency (LEP students) in the absence of other members or parts of the system assuming this responsibility."

The ESOL/bilingual staff is a dedicated group of professionals who work not only at improving the English language skills of LEP students but also at helping them adjust to their new community and school environment. ESOL teachers, counselors, specialists and other staff often work long hours beyond their workday and during weekends to help these students, advising them on academic as well as personal problems, helping them get medical attention, clothes, jobs, housing and referring them to other agencies or community organizations as needed.

The article does a disservice to these dedicated professionals by leaving those who have not had the opportunity to read Dr. Gordon's report with an erroneous impression of the ESOL/bilingual programs.

MARIA M. SCHAUB Director Division of ESOL/Bilingual Programs Montgomery County Public Schools Rockville