English Language Learners
Welcome to Avon Schools. We have assembled the resources and information on this page to inform and equip the families of English Language Learners for their child's educational experience at Avon Schools.
A significant percentage of our 10,000-student enrollment are students who speak English as a second language. In fact, there are 90 different languages spoken in the homes of Avon Students. This map shows how widely distributed the nations of origin and native languages of our students are.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
- Glossary of Terms & Definitions
- Hierarchy of Related Laws & Programs
- Home Language Survey (HLS)
- Enrollment Procedures
- Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
- Parental Notification & Involvement
- English Language Proficiency Levels
- RtI and English Learners Research
- WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework
- Foreign Exchange Students / Adopted Students
- Transfer Credit Guidance of International Students
- Migrant Education
|AMO||“Annual Measurable Objective” The annual target for the percentage of students whose test scores must be proficient or above in English/language arts and mathematics. Meeting the AMO is the first step toward demonstrating adequate progress under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Information regarding Indiana’s ESEA flexibility extension request can be found at doe.in.gov/esea.|
|AMAO||“Annual Measurable Achievement Objective” Required by Sec 3122 of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for Title III-served programs for 1) annual increases in the percentage of children making progress in learning English 2) annual increases in the percentage of children attaining English proficiency and 3) making adequate yearly progress for limited English proficiency children in English/language arts and mathematics.|
|Bilingual/Bicultural Program||A program which utilizes the student’s native language and cultural factors in instructing, maintaining, and further developing all the necessary skills in the student’s native language and culture while introducing, maintaining, and developing all the necessary skills in the second language and culture.|
|Can Do Descriptors||The WIDA Can Do Descriptors are commonly used by ESL teachers in coaching general education teachers about differentiated instruction for English learners (ELs). They can also be used to plan lessons or observe students' progress.|
|EL or ELL||“English Learner” or “English Language Learner” – This refers to any student who may or may not be in the ENL program but those who are continuing to acquire the English language.|
|English As a Second Language or English to Speakers of Other Languages Program||A structured language acquisition program designed to teach English to students whose native language is not English.|
|English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment||Two versions: placement and annual; refers to the placement assessment used upon enrollment to determine if a language minority student is limited English proficient or fluent AND used annually for students who are limited English proficiency.|
|ENL||“English as a New Language” – This term is used by the Indiana Professional Standards Board for purposes of license description and teacher dispositions. Also an ENL course for credit at middle school and high school.|
|ESEA Waiver||Guidelines announced from the US Department of Education for state educational agencies to apply for flexibility that would allow relief from existing sanctions under NCLB. Information regarding Indiana’s ESEA flexibility extension request can be found at doe.in.gov/esea.|
|ESL||“English as a Second Language” – This is the most commonly used term to describe language programming.|
|ESOL||"English Speakers of Other Languages"|
|FEP||“Fluent English Proficiency” – A student is considered Fluent English Proficient (FEP) if he/she is able to demonstrate “near native” or “native like” English abilities as determined by a state adopted English language proficiency instrument, which measures competence in speaking, reading, and writing.|
|GT||"Gifted and Talented"; High Ability|
|HLS||“Home Language Survey” – Home Language Surveys are filled out by all families as part of the enrollment process once in the child’s educational career in Indiana to document the language history of the enrolling child.|
|ILP||“Individual Learning Plan” – Every year, or when a new EL arrives, the EL teacher will develop and share the ILP with the mainstream teachers. It includes the most recent English language proficiency assessment scores and the appropriate accommodations, etc.|
|INTESOL||“Indiana Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages” – The local/state affiliate of the International Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages professional organization.|
|ISTEP+||“Indiana Statewide Test for Educational Progress Plus” – Statewide standardized test.|
|LEP||“Limited English Proficient” – A student is considered Limited English Proficient (LEP) if he/she meets the following criteria: 1. The student’s English abilities are limited (or non-existent), as determined by an English language proficiency assessment instrument in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing; 2. The student’s academic performance is typically not at grade level.|
|LMS||“Language Minority Student” – A Language Minority Student (LMS) is a student for whom at least one of the following statements is true: 1. The student’s first acquired (learned) language is other than English; regardless of which is dominant; 2. The language most often spoken by the student is other than English; or 3. The language most often spoken by the student in the home is other than English.|
|LTELL||“Long-term English Language Learner” – A student that has attended US schools for more than 6 years and has not reached fluent English proficient status.|
|Migrant Student||A student who moves across school district lines for the purpose of obtaining agricultural work and whose family’s source of income is generated from short term seasonal or temporary jobs related to food processing, crop harvesting, or fish catching. A migrant student may or might not also be an English learner. For more information on migrant services, including the Work Survey that must be annually administered to all Indiana students, please visit the Indiana Department of Education.|
|MPI||“Model Performance Indicator” - Examples of how language is processed or produced within a particular context. MPIs are meant to be examples and not fixed guidelines of the language with which students may engage during instruction and assessment.|
|Sheltered Instruction||Content area instruction that has been adapted for English learners’ meaningful participation at their level of English proficiency.|
|SIOP||“Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol” – A lesson planner and framework for the specifically adapted and designed content area in order to make basic vocabulary and concepts comprehensible.|
|TESOL||“Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages” – An international organization designed to promote English language learning throughout the world.|
|TPR||“Total Physical Response” – A teaching method in which teachers interact by delivering commands and students demonstrate comprehension through total physical response. Students are not expected to respond orally until they feel ready, thus involving little to no pressure to speak.|
|WAPT||“WIDA ACCESS Placement Test” - It is an English language proficiency "screener" test given to incoming students who may be designated as English language learners. It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELs. The W-APT is one component of WIDA's comprehensive assessment system.|
|WIDA ACCESS||“Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners” - Is a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English learners (ELs). It is given annually in WIDA Consortium member states to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English.|
|WIDA Standards Framework||WIDA draws on multiple theories and approaches in an effort to describe language use in academic contexts; this is the language that language learners must acquire and negotiate to participate successfully in school. These multiple theories and approaches form a theoretical foundation that supports the WIDA standards framework.|
In accordance with Performance Based Accreditation compliance guidelines, Plyler v. Doe (1981), and Title I of ESEA, all public schools are required to administer a Home Language Survey (census) to all first time enrollees (i.e. Kindergarten) or out-of-state students to identify the first (native) language(s) of all students enrolled in the school corporation. Nonpublic schools participating in the Choice Scholarship Program must also follow these procedures per their application assurances and accountability determinations. This is done by registering staff at the time of enrollment and not thereafter. For students that are transferring from an Indiana school, school staff will contact the previous school to obtain the original home language survey. The Home Language Survey shall identify students in need of English language development services. Based on the results of this survey, students will be tested for their level of English proficiency and provided services as needed. If a language other than English is indicated for any of the questions, the student is considered to be a language minority student.
Home Language Survey Required Questions
- What is the native language of the student?
- What languages does the student speak most often?
- What language does the student speak at home?
English Language Proficiency Assessment
EL staff or designated and trained individuals who are paid with state and local funds only shall assess new EL students to the school corporation with the state-approved English language proficiency assessment tool to measure proficiency in English. (Staff paid solely through federal funds such as Title I or III must not assess students, as this is federally mandated and therefore not supplemental).The English proficiency assessment shall be conducted within 30 calendar days of the beginning of the school year, or within 2 weeks of enrollment if the child enrolls later in the school year. The purpose of English language proficiency assessment is to identify a level of English proficiency so appropriate EL programming and mainstream accommodations may be made for the EL students.
Note: Only a person holding an Indiana license can administer the Placement test or Annual Proficiency test, which includes instructional, administrative, and social services licenses. Chapter 10 of the Indiana Assessment Program Manual discusses test preparation, administration and reporting. Specifically, it defines the test examiners and their roles as the following:
Test Examiners and Their Role
The assessment is to be administered only by personnel who hold a license granted by the Indiana Department of Education. The license must be an instructional, administrative, or school services license. Personnel not properly trained and certified (e.g., teacher’s aides, secretaries, or substitute teachers who do not hold one of the above mentioned licenses) may ONLY serve as proctors, NOT as test examiners. In no case may unlicensed personnel be allowed to supervise the test administration without the guidance of a test examiner. Test examiners should be thoroughly familiar with the tests to be administered and with the procedures to be followed during testing. This includes:
- Studying the Examiner’s Manuals (paying specific attention to the icons representing reading comprehension and calculator usage);
- Reviewing the Code of Ethical Practices and Procedures (in Appendix A of this manual); and
- Reading all applicable portions of the current Indiana Assessment Program Manual.
EL Student Placement
EL students who enroll in an Indiana school corporation are to be placed with their age/grade appropriate peers. The lack of English language proficiency in any domain of listening, speaking, reading and writing is not to be considered in the grade placement of EL students.
All students enrolling in an Indiana elementary school for the first time, including preschool programs that are part of the elementary, are to be administered the Home Language Survey. The native language and language(s) used by the preschool student is vital information for preschool staff and has to be taken into consideration during any testing, including determination for special education services, if applicable.
However, preschool students who are English Learners are not reported to the U.S. Department of Education in any of the following reports: LEP Students in LEP Program (C046), LEP Enrolled (C141), or Title III LEP Students Served (C116). Since preschool students who are English Learners are not reported to the U.S. Department of Education and subsequently do not generate Title III funding under 3114(a) of the ESEA, then LEAs are not required to administer an English language proficiency screener for preschool students who have a language other than English identified on their HLS. However, preschool students who were born outside of the U.S. or its territories and immigrated to the U.S. are to be reported as immigrant students on the DOE-LM, whether or not they are English Learners.
LEAs have the option of administering a locally developed screener for preschool students. The student’s score on the locally developed screener will not be reported to the IDOE as the student’s English proficiency level but shall be used for informational purposes only. However, no preschool student will take the Annual English language proficiency assessment, as this is for grades K-12 only.
When the time of Kindergarten enrollment is reached by preschool students who previously identified a language other than English on their Home Language Survey, licensed EL staff must administer the English language proficiency screener no later than 30 days from the beginning of the school year. LEAs have the option of providing Title III services to preschool students who have identified a language other than English on their Home Language Survey; however, this is not a requirement but rather a local decision.
The ILP is a specialized plan for each identified Limited English Proficient (LEP) student that details strategies, accommodations, modifications and goals to be implemented daily in the classroom in order to help LEP students be successful.
- The ILP is a locally-developed form that is recommended to be created by the student’s classroom teacher(s) in conjunction with the school’s EL teacher (if applicable) or another designee
- All LEP students (Levels 1-4) must have an ILP
- The ILP should be shared with the student to ensure the student understands what they are entitled to
- Teachers and other staff members that work with an LEP student must be given a copy of the ILP and are required to implement the ILP within their classroom on a daily basis
Of what should the ILP Consist?
The state does not require a specific form that must be used; rather, schools retain the local responsibility to create an ILP based on their students’ needs. However, recommendations to include in an ILP are as follows:
- General information about the student (name, grade, age, school year)
- English language proficiency placement test level
- Annual English language proficiency assessment levels over time, with sub-group levels in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
- State and local assessment information
- The language instruction program being used for the student to help them attain English language proficiency
- Strategies, accommodations, and modifications for the student to be implemented in all classes
- Strategies and accommodations for state assessments
- Goals for the student (quarterly, semester, year-end)
State Assessments and Accommodations
- Limited English Proficient (LEP) students are eligible to receive accommodations on state assessments; however, in order to do so, the accommodation must be marked on the student’s ILP
- Only state-approved accommodations can be used with LEP students on state assessments
- School corporations should refer to the Indiana Assessment Program Manual for a list of state-approved accommodations for use with their LEP students on state assessments
Title III, Section 3302, has two timelines for providing parental notifications: one for the student who is new to the LEA and one for a continuing student. Additionally, there is a requirement for programs to notify parents of a program’s failure to meet annual AMAO targets. This notification is required to be in a parent’s primary language, as is reasonable for the school district to offer.
For LEP students who have been enrolled in the LEA since the previous school year, parental notifications must be provided no later than 30 calendar days after the beginning of the school year. LEAs should use the most current information available regarding each student in these notifications (Title III, Section (a)).
For students enrolling after the beginning of the school year, LEAs must provide the parental notifications within two weeks of a child being placed in a program. This timeline does not conflict with the state requirement of testing students for English proficiency within 30 calendar days of enrollment and placement in an appropriate program (Education Code sections 306(a), 313, 60810-60811, 62002; formerly Education Code Section 52164.1 (b)(c); Title 5, Education sections 4304, 11511; Code of Federal Regulations , Title 34, Education, parts 300, 300.532(a)(c)).
Note: An LEA may issue one parental notification that meets both state and federal requirements for all new LEP enrollees. However, all parents of LEP students must be notified annually of the students’ placement in a language instruction program, and not just newly enrolled students.
According to Education Code Section 48985, when 15 percent or more of the pupils enrolled in the school speak a single primary language other than English, all notices, reports, statements, or records sent by the school or district to the parent/guardian of any such pupil must, in addition to being written in English, be written in such primary language and may be responded to by the parent or guardian in English or in the primary language.
In addition, federal law requires that schools and districts effectively communicate with all parents and guardians, regardless of the percentage of students that speak a language other than English (Title III, Section 3122 (c)). This requirement to make information available to parents in a language that they understand cannot be paid with Title III funds due to the supplement not supplant provision Sec. 3115(g) of ESEA.
RtI is an opportunity to use the school’s existing resources, programs, personnel, effective teaching practices and assessment in a comprehensive way to offer an optimal learning environment for all students. In each tier of the RtI process, instruction and intervention must be tailored to meet the unique needs of the English learners and language acquisition must be taken into account when servicing students through RtI.
EL Services/Lau Requirements
- The Lau required English language development is in addition to the core instruction. EL classes/services do not take the place of an intervention for English Learners.
- If an EL student needs a formal intervention, he/she must be provided with that formal intervention in addition to the Lau required English language development.
- EL students may get EL services AND a reading and/or math Tier 2 or 3 intervention.
- EL students may receive a Tier 2 intervention, but not be categorized as a Tier 2 student due to language acquisition.
Collaboration with EL teachers
- Working collaboratively as a community is the key to success with RTI and English learners.
- The role of the EL teacher should be to provide English language development services (even if they receive a Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention), and to participate as a member on the RtI team and decision making.
Questions to guide RtI collaboration with English learners
- Have English learners had sufficient opportunity to learn (time and quality of instruction)?
- Does Tier 1 instruction reflect best practice, and is it being implemented to a high degree?
- How are we documenting and progress monitoring?
- Are our teachers respectful of and supportive of English learner students’ cultures and language learning needs?
- Are we using only evidence-based intervention and curriculum?
- Are we giving our English learners enough time in Tiers 1, 2, and 3 before considering moving to the next Tier or special education?
- Are we utilizing the expertise on our staff in a collaborative way to provide a comprehensive instructional program for all students?
- Are we working collaboratively with EL teachers?
Title I [1111(b)(1)] and Title III [3111(b)(2)(C)(ii) of the ESEA and Indiana’s ESEA flexibility extension require Indiana to adopt college and career ready English language development standards and assessments so that English learners may attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging Indiana academic content and achievement standards as all children are expected to meet.
Indiana adopted the WIDA ELD standards in December 2013. The 5 WIDA standards and framework consist of 5 components:
- Can Do Philosophy
- Guiding Principles of Language Development
- Age Appropriate Academic Language in Socio-Cultural Contexts
- Performance Definitions
- Strands of Model Performance Indicators
The WIDA ELD standards differ from Indiana’s previous ELP standards because students need to engage with peers, educators, and the curriculum in ALL classrooms. WIDA offers 5 standards, which are utilized by all educators with English learners in their classrooms:
- Social and instructional language
- Language of language arts
- Language of mathematics
- Language of science
- Language of social studies
Foreign Exchange Students
Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a foreign exchange student is not exempt from any Title III required assessment, specifically the English language proficieny Placement test. LEAs are required to administer a Home Language Survey to all first-time enrollees (i.e. incoming Kindergarteners) and students enrolling from out of state. If a student, including a foreign exchange student, has a language other than English identified on the Home Language Survey, then an English language proficiency placement test must be administered within 30 days of the beginning of the school year or two weeks after enrollment.
If a foreign exchange student receives a score of limited English proficiency on the English language proficiency placement test, then the student is considered Limited English Proficient (LEP) and begins receiving federally required English language development services.
This policy applies even if the student’s foreign exchange program required an English proficiency assessment, unless it was the state adopted English language proficiency assessment, because that assessment was not aligned to Indiana’s English proficiency assessment. A score that a foreign exchange program considers as English proficient may not correlate to Indiana standards. Therefore, foreign exchange students should be treated like any other student if they indicate a language other than English on a home language survey.
A foreign exchange student that indicated a language other than English on the Home Language Survey would also be included in an LEA's Language Minority (LM) count for purposes of allocating funds under 3114(a) of the ESEA.
Under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), adopted students, including those from a foreign country, are not exempt from any Title I or III required assessment, specifically the English language proficiency Placement test. LEAs are required to administer a Home Language Survey to all first-time enrollees (i.e. incoming Kindergarteners) and students enrolling from out of state. If a student, including an adopted student, has a language other than English identified on the Home Language Survey, then an English language proficiency placement test must be administered within 30 days of the beginning of the school year or two weeks after enrollment. This requirement applies no matter the age of the student when he/she was adopted. The adoptive parents must fill out the HLS as instructed.
If the student receives a score of limited English proficiency on the English language proficiency placement test, then the student is considered Limited English Proficient (LEP) and begins receiving federally required English language development services.
An adopted student that indicated a language other than English on the Home Language Survey would also be included in an LEA's Language Minority (LM) count for purposes of allocating funds under 3114(a) of the ESEA.
Indiana high schools should make every effort possible to transfer credits for students enrolling from other countries. The Department of Education recommends that the school attempt to obtain a list of content area course descriptions from the native country (in English) to determine the content equivalence of courses.
The following courses from the home country may count as Indiana World Language credit:
- English development classes
- Language arts classes in the native language (i.e. literature, writing in the native language)
In order to receive English/Language Arts credit, a course from the native country must meet the intent of Indiana’s Academic Standards for English/Language Arts for secondary-level performance on reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and processes.
- The number of credits awarded for each course may vary. The number of credits awarded should be determined by locally established transfer credit policy.
- Schools may administer available final exams or End of Course Assessments to students in order to determine placement and/or verify proficiency in the content. For more information about credit by proficiency, please contact the Office of Curriculum and Instruction.
Awarding credits based on transfer transcripts is a local decision. Services are available, for a fee, to professionally translate and evaluate transcripts. Contact local universities for more information about these services. Additionally, if a transcript is not available for a student, then the school may choose other performance measures for a student to demonstrate content proficiency that meets the intent of the Indiana Academic Standards, which might be a end of course assessment, locally created course final, third party assessment, teacher interview/portfolio etc.
For specific information regarding how international grades might transfer to a U.S. grading system, as well as an in-depth explanation of the various educational systems around the world, please go to the World Education Services (WES)* website. Below is a sample grade transfer chart from this site. The grades shown on these charts have been taken from the most commonly used grading scales from each country.
Mexico Grading Scale
|Scale 1||Scale 2||Grade Description||U.S Grade Equivalent|
|9.0-10||90-100||Muy Bien (Very Good)||A|
|0-5.9||0-59||Reprobado/No Suficiente (Fail/Not Sufficient)||F|
*7 and 70 are the minimum passing grades at selected universities.
The Migrant Education Program (MEP) provides supplemental education and support services to eligible children through national funding. The purpose of the program is to ensure that all migrant students reach the academic standards and graduate with a high school diploma (or complete a GED).
Effective 2014, the following form is administered to every student enrolling in Avon Schools.
The mission of ACSC's English Language Learners and Migrant Education program is to ensure that children who are limited English proficient attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards as all children are expected to meet.