An English language learner (ELL) is a person who besides their native
language is learning the English language. Typically, the term is used
to refer to those who learn English as their second language in
mainstream schools where the language of instruction is English. Studies
denote that the attitude that teachers have towards ELLs, the
instructions and evaluations of the students and the student’s
cultural background are some of the contributing factors to the
achievement of the ELL students. It has been recommended that the ELLs
could be assisted by allowing their cultures in the classroom,
incorporating literature into the curriculum and by initially engaging
them in language-appropriate content-area instruction (Fradd & Lee,
Identification Procedure of ELLs
Different procedures are used by different schools and states to
identify the English Language Learners. My school uses the following
steps in Ell’s identification.
The first step is the review of home language survey. This is a tool
developed by the district and is given to all newly enrolled students so
as to determine the ones not proficient in English. The home survey
helps the school identify the students who communicate in other
languages other than English at home.
The second step is conducting a preliminary evaluation. Here the
academic history of the student is thoroughly scrutinized. This includes
the course grades, especially where the grade level sow lack of progress
due to lack of English proficiency. This kind of evaluation is
administered to aid the judgment of the educator. He facilitators
mostly do this trough reading inventories.
The last step used by the school is screener evaluation. This is carried
out so as to identify whether the newly enrolled students are potential
English Language Learners in need of a language instructional program
(Socorro et al. 2007). The screener is done using the WIDA-ACCESS
placement test. The tests collected are used to determine the first
stage placement for English language assessment so as to aid in the
identification of the first English Language Proficiency level of the
The Formal and Informal Assessment(s) conducted to determine the
language proficiency level of the student, and the monitoring of English
In formal assessment, the school uses on demand assessments and
standardized tests as part of its assessment program. The school
administers these examinations so as to measure the student’s mastery
of important ideas and skills at critical developmental milestones. The
progress of every student is indicated. Besides, the students are also
graded with others in their grade (Fradd & Lee, 2001). On the other
hand, the school’s informal assessment entails collection of evidence
from the classroom by the teachers to measure the mastery level of the
important ideas and skills taught to them. The informal assessment
provides feedback to the teachers, students and parents on a continual
basis. Unlike in the formal assessment, each student is to their
previous level of achievement (Fradd & Lee, 2001).
The English Language Development program necessitates a close follow-up
of the students. In the school, a myriad of activities continuously take
place in the school calendar to ensure progress of the student. They
Administering annual assessments to the Limited English proficiency
(LEP) students to test their progress. The obtained scores are filed in
the English Language Development file. At the beginning of the year, the
file is sent to the parents of the students together with program
Student performance checks: this includes verification of the LEP
student performance every end of semester. All the students found below
the grade level standards are sent to the school counselor for
Informal Reading Inventory (IRI): the school sites provide the results
of the IRI to the school’s technology director who then hands them
over the English Language Development director. The school administers
these assessments to students in grade one and two during the fall and
spring sessions of each school year. The performance of the English
Language Learners is noted yearly on the Performance Expectation Form.
English Language Development Progress Reports: based on the English
Language Development standards, teachers in the school are asked to
evaluate the progress of every ELL student in their classrooms
quarterly. The progress report is handed to the English teacher for
completion. It is expected that teachers review their students’
progress in speaking, listening, reading and writing on a scale of 20
points. The obtained scores are then noted on the Performance
Expectation Form of the each student.
How the teachers are informed of the language proficiency status of
English Language Learners
The teachers get informed of the language proficiency status of their
ELLs through continuous monitoring of the students mastery ability of
the skills taught as the student progresses through the personalized
instruction program. Through this, the teacher is able to determine the
right instructional approaches to ensure language development.
So as to ensure that the students access grade level content and
develop language at the same time, teachers determine when a student has
gained the right academic language proficiency for placement in the
regular instructional program (Socorro et al. 2007). Besides, teachers
carry out post service monitoring to ensure that the students
successfully transits into the program.
Fradd, S.H. & Lee, O. (2001). Needed: a framework for integrating
standardized and informal assessment for students developing academic
proficiency in English. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Socorro, H., Kevin, M., & Robin, . (2007). Assessment Accommodations for
Classroom Teachers of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.
Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
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