Who is your ELL student?

English Language Learners are just that: learners. They will get there with the right input.  What makes them different is that they will enjoy the added benefit of speaking in two systems of codes, which will enhance the rest of their cognitive and academic performance, unless there are any hindering pre-existing factors that may prevent it.

Taken from OSSE.DC.GOV

The state definition of Limited-English proficient (LEP) is taken
from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, S. 9191, 25, of Title IX.


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Students must meet a part of the criteria in each of the sections A-D
• (A) who is aged 3 through 21;
• (B) who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
• (C) (who are I, ii, or iii)
• (i) who were not born in the United States or whose
native languages are languages other than English;
Federal Limited English Proficient (LEP) definition
(ii) (who are I and II)
(I) who are a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and
(II) who come from an environment where languages other than English have a significant impact on their level of language proficiency; or
• (iii) who are migratory, whose native languages are languages other than English, and who come from an environment where languages other than English are dominant; and
• (D) whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individuals (who are denied i or ii or iii)
• (i) the ability to meet the state’s proficient level of achievement on state assessments described in section 1111 (b)(3);
• (ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
• (iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.
To meet the criteria for C, an individual can meet the criteria of any of i, ii or iii. If the criterion to meet C is (ii), then the individual must meet the criteria of both I and II. To meet the criteria for D, and individual must be denied one of the three listed, i or ii or iii

ELL Levels

Level 1 -Starting Up

  • communicate nonverbally in response to simple commands, statements or questions
  • understand little spoken English; primarily observe during instruction
  • begin to repeat language used by others, individual words or simple phrases
  • display limited English reading comprehension
  • rely heavily on pictures and other non-linguistic representations for comprehension

Level 2 -Beginning

  • use basic words, phrases and expressions
  • memorize simple phrases and sentences
  • rely on some nonverbal communication
  • understand phrases and short sentences; begin to follow instructions and class discussions
  • begin to comprehend reading with support

Level 3 -Developing

  • occasionally join in conversations and class discussions on familiar topics
  • produce longer phrases and complete sentences with some grammatical errors
  • display increasing comprehension
  • rely on high-frequency words and known patterns

Level 4 -Expanding

  • sometimes use academic language
  • engage in conversations and class discussions
  • use more complex sentences and phrases with fewer grammatical errors
  • begin use multiple strategies to communicate and comprehend
  • compose original writing

Level 5 -Bridging Over

  • frequently use academic language
  • produce language comparable to a native speaker (with a few grammatical errors)
  • actively participate in all areas of literacy—speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • use multiple strategies to communicate and comprehend

Class accommodations  (From RTI network)

Primary accommodations should be: (From RTI)

  • Provide ongoing and research-based professional development to teachers and other school personnel.
  • The more that personnel know about the development of oral language, early literacy, students’ home language, contextual considerations, and the cultural background of students, the better informed they will be in making appropriate decisions about interpreting screening and assessment results and in designing appropriate interventions.
  • Fully credentialed bilingual education and ESL teachers must continuously acquire new knowledge regarding best practices in bilingual education and ESL.
  • General education teachers should regularly participate in professional development focused on meeting the needs of ELLs (e.g., information about bilingual education, ESL strategies, and the cultural and linguistic characteristics that serve as assets to the academic success of ELLs)

Important links for in-class accommodations and extra information

ESEA- No Child Left Behind 

Audible – Audiobooks

Librivox.com – Audiobooks from Project Guttenberg (all free classics online)

Audacity.com- Be a reader-aloud 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Who is your ELL student?

Add yours

    1. Thanks so much! I am still posting on the topic as my co-workers in Gen Ed, expressed that they are seldom trained on how to look for pointers to identify ELL students once in the regular classrooms. It is not their fault, as most ELL teachers are transient, so I am taking the chance now that I am full time in one place to train them and inform them as much as I can. Thanks for the reblog again

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