English Learner services support students in the domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Following the WIDA standards, English Learner courses focus on social and instructional language, the language of language arts, the language of mathematics, the language of science and the language of social studies.
Services for English Learners vary depending upon the student's level of English acquisition, the grade level and the student data gathered by both EL and mainstream teachers. All students are given content-based EL instruction, which is designed to promote English proficiency and the growth of academic vocabulary (Dutro and Levy, 2011). Students are age-appropriately placed with their peers and instruction is aligned to the WIDA and Common Core State Standards at the current grade level. At the elementary and secondary level, all EL students with language levels 1-4 receive English language instruction taught by specially trained EL teachers, as well as general education teachers in a collaborative setting. Both teachers design instructional programs that develop the child’s English language proficiency to meet grade level academic standards.
Students with a language level of 4 may not receive direct language instruction from an English Learner teacher, but they can be included in groups with other English Learner students who are working with an English Learner teacher. English Learner teachers review academic progress of level 4 students in collaboration with general education teachers.
Previous school records and an assessment of oral, reading, and writing proficiency in English are used to determine initial placement in EL services. If a student is not proficient in any area of the assessment, he/she meets state criteria for EL services.