English Learners Overview
Identification: English Learners (ELs) are students who have been exposed to other languages through their home, school life, country of origin or community. Potential ELs are identified during the registration process using a home language survey. The EL Specialists assess the students’ English proficiency and make any recommendations for services.
Instruction: English Language instruction is provided by EL Specialists who have full teacher certification with additional ESOL certification, which requires substantial additional coursework and training in English language development. English Language instruction is content-based language development with interventions as needed for assistance with literacy and academic needs. This means that the EL Specialists plan lessons using academic content from Social Studies, English Language Arts, Science and Mathematics to teach academic English.
WIDA Consortium: Standards, Can-Dos, Assessment & Guiding Principles: The State of Missouri belongs to the WIDA Consortium for teaching and assessing English Learners. WIDA provides English Language Development (ELD) standards and Can-Dos which focus on Social and Academic language development at all levels of language acquisition. Additional resources from WIDA include the Guiding Principles of Language Development which focus on the Social-Emotional, Cross-Linguistic, and Cross-Cultural aspects of teaching and learning across languages.
Annual Assessments: English Learners take the WIDA ACCESS English language assessment in the early spring (January-March) of each school year. English Learners also participate in all regular District and State assessments.
Mission, Vision, Values and Goals
Mission: English Language Learner (ELL) services provide students with English language instruction using content, materials and methods appropriate for social and academic English language development in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
Vision: We provide an environment that engages and challenges students in:
- Expressing and learning about cultural viewpoints and differences
- Using and understanding English in social and academic contexts
- Promoting self-awareness of learning content and English skills
Values: We commit to:
- Using thematic units and lessons to promote rich academic content knowledge and accompanying language skills.
- Use of English assessment scores to identify a focus for instruction.
- Engaging students individually, in small groups, and in class to promote cooperative learning, inquiry-based learning, and self-reflection of learning.
- Using the WIDA Standards and Can-Do’s to inform instruction
Goals: Students show progress on the yearly ELL assessment (WIDA ACCESS for ELLs).