Enrollment & Identification of English Language Learners:
Our English Language Learners (ELL) program supports students who are not proficient in the English language in order to provide them with an equal educational opportunity. The ELL program helps students develop their English listening, reading, writing and speaking skills through interactive small group sessions.
English Language Learners should be placed in a grade level appropriate to their age unless other factors preclude such a placement. Other factors to consider include: educational background, length of time in the country, English language proficiency, first language proficiency and parental requests. Entering students should not be placed more than one grade level below their age appropriate grade.
Initial placement decisions will be made by a building level team consisting of, but is not limited to, the building principal, ELL specialist, ELL coordinator, and counselor.
Each student in kindergarten through grade twelve, who has a primary or home language other than English, will be identified upon enrollment by using the identifying information through registration and the home language survey. If the home language survey indicates any language other than English is used by the student or in the home, we screen the student using the Ohio English Proficiency Screener (OELPS). The results of the OELPS assessment will determine if a student is placed in the ELL program. ELL specialists will make home visits and reach out to families to ensure family background and schooling history. Our ELL specialists will then determine services and scheduling along with the general education teacher.
About English Learning (EL)
Parent Rights and Notification
The purpose Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act is to help meet the needs of Limited English Proficient students, develop high quality language instruction programs, build agencies’ capacities, promote parental involvement, streamline programs, hold state and local educational agencies accountable, and provide flexibility for agencies. For more information visit Ohio Department of Education: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Myths About English Learning
According to the Ohio Department of Education:
In the document ESL Standards for Pre-K-Students (TESOL, Inc. 1997), several myths about second language learning are discussed.
Myth 1: ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) students learn English easily and quickly simply by being exposed to and surrounded by native English speakers.
Fact: Learning a second language takes time and significant intellectual effort on the part of the learner. Learning as second language is hard work; even the youngest learners do not simply “pick up” the language.
Myth 2: When ESOL learners are able to converse comfortably in English, they have developed proficiency in the language.
Fact: It can take 6 to 9 years for ESOL learners to achieve the same levels of proficiency in academic English as native speakers. Moreover, ESOL students participating in thoughtfully designed programs of bilingual or sheltered content instruction remain in school longer and attain significantly higher rates of academic achievement in comparison to students without such advantages.
Myth 3: In earlier times immigrant children learned English rapidly and assimilated easily into American life.
Fact: Many immigrant students during the early part of this century did not learn English quickly or well. Many dropped out of school to work in jobs that did not require the kinds of academic achievement and communication skills that substantive employment opportunities require today. (TESOL, Inc., 1997, p. 3).
School districts have the flexibility to decide on the educational approach that best meets the needs of their LEP students and leads to the timely acquisition of the level of English proficiency the students need to succeed in school. Presented here is a brief description of federal law describing districts’ responsibilities for selecting programs as well as an overview of different approaches used in Ohio.
Small Group Instruction for English Learning (EL)
Using this educational approach, limited English proficient students are directly instructed in the use of the English language. Instruction is based on a special curriculum that typically involves little or no use of the students’ native language and is usually taught during specific school periods. For the remainder of the school day, students may be placed in mainstream classrooms. EL classes may focus on teaching formal English grammar and on promoting natural communication activities (free conversation, games, discussions on familiar topics). Reading and writing are practiced as well as oral communication skills in English.
In-class Support (Inclusion and Co-teaching)
In this approach, EL students are together with their native-English speaking peers in the same classroom, but an EL or bilingual education specialist is available in the classroom to support the students. For example, the EL or bilingual education specialist may provide guidance to the students as they are working on a group project or individual assignment.
Exiting EL Program
Coordinator of Gifted Services, English Learners and Elementary GIS