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What is EL? EL stands for English Learners. It means that the student speaks or hears another language at home and is not a native English speaker.
How do you determine if a student would benefit from EL instruction?
When a student enters the school district, his or her parents need to complete a Home Language Survey. If a language other than English is listed, the student will be tested to determine whether EL services are needed. Students are tested via a state determined screener. The results from this test, along with a parent interview and previous school records will determine whether the student will receive EL services. Parents will be notified via letter as to whether students will be receiving services.
After a student is identified as needing EL instruction, he or she is given a level based on his or her test results. These levels are as follows:
Level 1-Entering-Students may be non-verbal or speak very little English.
Level 2-Beginning-Students use common phrases or short sentences and have some general academic language.
Level 3-Developing-Students will use familiar oral and written language with some expanded sentence length and short paragraphs.
Level 4-Expanding-Students may use oral and written academic and technical language of varying complexity.
Level 5-Bridging-Students' oral or written academic and technical language approach that of their English proficient peers.
Level 6-Reaching-Students at this level have either already exited the program or are ready to exit the program.
What happens during EL instruction? Many times, the EL teacher pulls students out of the classroom for English instruction. During this time, students are taught vocabulary, academic language, and any other skills relevant to subject material. Sometimes the teacher "pushes in", which means he or she assists the EL student with language within his or her regular classroom.
What is available for teachers to help EL students: The state has provided various documents to guide SL Instruction. The Basic Education Circular, or the BEC, is one of these documents. You can find more information by clicking here.
The newly-updated EL Portal website developed by PDE also provides a centralized location for information, guidance, and tools relevant to language instruction educational programs in Pennsylvania.
The EL Portal can be accessed at the following link: http://www.eslportalpa.info.
Have any questions about our EL program?
Please contact Kate Pizzelanti, EL Teacher at firstname.lastname@example.org, OR
LeAnn Stitzel, Director of Curriculum at email@example.com.
Please see below for additional information.