Section II Assessment, Identification, & Programs for English Learners
Home Language Survey (HLS) When parents or guardians first register their children for school, they complete a HLS that indicates what language is spoken in the home:
Home language survey is a form administered by the school district to be completed by the pupil's parent or guardian at the time of first enrollment in a California public school indicating language use in the home which, if completed, fulfills the school district's obligation required by Education Code Section 52164.1 (CA Code of Regulations, Title 5, Chapter 11, Subchapter 7.5).
If only line 4 on the HLS lists a language other than English, the student is categorized as English only and no further language assessment is needed. If on line 1, 2, or 3, there is a language other than English listed, and there is no evidence that the student has been previously assessed for English language fluency using the California English Language Development Test (CELDT), the student must be tested within 30 calendar days of enrollment.
Assessment of English Learners (ELs) in California
CELDT. State law (California Education Codesections 313 and 60810[d])) and federal law (Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001) require that school districts administer a state test of English language proficiency to: (1) newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English and, (2) ELs as an annual assessment. For California public school students, this test is the California English Language Development Test (CELDT). Education Code Section 52164.1[a] requires all students (in kindergarten through grade twelve) whose primary language is not English, based on the Home Language Survey (HLS), must take the CELDT within 30 calendar days after they are enrolled in a California public school for the first time to determine if they are English learners.
The CELDT has three purposes: (1) to identify students who are limited English proficient; (2) to determine the level of English language proficiency of students who are limited English proficient; and (3) to assess the progress of limited English proficient students in acquiring the skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing in English. All ELs must be administered the CELDT annually. There are no parent waivers for taking CELDT (CELDT State Board Adopted Guidelines October, 2008).
Senate Bill 80 (2007) authorized the California Department of Education (CDE) to develop an early literacy assessment that tests students in kindergarten through grade one in the domains of reading and writing. Beginning in 2009, California began testing ELs in kindergarten and grade one in the domains of listening and speaking, as well as in reading and writing. Students in grades two through twelve are also assessed in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing (CELDT State Board Adopted Guidelines October, 2008). The CELDT levels of proficiency are: Beginning, Early Intermediate, Intermediate, Early Advanced/Advanced, and English Proficient.
Beginning in 2008–09, the report for providing individual CELDT results for teachers, parents, and guardians was titled, “The Student Performance Level Report.” This report in previous years had been called, “The Student Proficiency Level Report” (CELDT State Board Adopted Guidelines October, 2008). For more information regarding CELDT go to:
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/el/resources.asp STAR Testing
Under the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 and state law, all students, including ELs, are required to participate in the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program. All ELs, regardless of their primary language, are required to take the STAR Program tests administered in English. This includes the California Standards Tests (CSTs) which is given in grades three and seven only, the California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey (CAT/6 Survey), or California Modified Assessment (CMA).
State law (Education Code Section 60640) requires that all Spanish-speaking ELs take the Designated Primary Language Test (DPLT) in addition to the tests in the STAR Program that are administered in English if they receive instruction in Spanish (regardless of how long they have been in school in the United States); or, they have been enrolled in a school in the United States for less than 12 months (cumulative).
At the option of the school district, schools also may test ELs who will have been in an United States school 12 months or more (cumulative) and who are not receiving instruction in Spanish. The STAR Program does not include DPLTs for ELs who speak primary languages other than Spanish.
The DPLT is part of the STAR Program. In spring 2008, the Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS) became the DPLT to be administered to eligible ELs in grades two through seven. In grades eight through eleven, the DPLT is to be administered to eligible English learners is the Aprenda 3.
ELs may use English-to-primary language translation glossaries or word lists that are regularly used in the classroom and do not include definitions or formulas. This assistance may be provided for all subjects except English-language arts on the CSTs and may not be provided in any subject tested on the CAT/6 Survey. They also may have test directions translated for them and ask clarifying questions in their primary language for all subjects tested on the CSTs and CAT/6 Survey. Students who are ELs may be tested separately if such a setting is part of the regular classroom instruction or assessments. The variations allowed for ELs are listed in the Matrix 2. Matrix of Test Variations for Administration of California Statewide Assessment (see Appendix B1 or go the following website: CDE Website http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/qandadplt08.asp).
Identification of ELs An EL is a K-12 student who, based on an objective assessment (CELDT), has not developed listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiencies in English sufficient for participation in the regular school program. Students are initially identified as an EL if they score below the early advanced performance level overall with any domain below the intermediate performance level on the CELDT (California State Board Adopted CELDT Guidelines 2009-2010).
Instruction & Program Options for ELs in California An English language classroom is the placement for all ELs in California, unless a parental exception waiver is granted for an alternative program. In addition, it is required that all ELs, regardless of the program they are being served in, be provided with English Language Development (ELD) and Specially Designed Academic Instruction (SDAIE). A description of each is provided below:
English Language Development (ELD)
Instruction of English designed to promote the effective and efficient acquisition of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills of the EL student. All ELs, regardless of placement, must receive ELD appropriate to their proficiency level (CTC, 2007). During the regular day, differentiated ELD instruction appropriate to the English proficiency level of each EL must be provided by an authorized teacher until the student is reclassified. Districts are to provide ELs with instruction using whatever materials are deemed appropriate that are specifically designed to enable students to acquire academic English rapidly, efficiently, and effectively. The law does not require a specific number of minutes of ELD for all ELs. Each district has the jurisdiction to determine the amount of time appropriate for students at different English language proficiency levels. It is considered best practice for ELDtotake place no less than 30-45 minutes daily.
Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE)
An instructional approach designed to increase the level of comprehensibility of the English language in the content area of the class. Prior to 1994, the term sheltered English instruction strategies was used to describe this type of instruction (CTC, 2007). All EL students should receive SDAIE, and, if necessary and reasonably possible, primary language support. School districts are required to continue to provide additional and appropriate educational services to ELs until they have met reclassification criteria. This means that ELs must be provided with ELD and SDAIE as needed, until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient (FEP).
The two mandated program options (unless a parental exception waiver is granted) for EL students in the State of California are:
1) Structured English Immersion (SEI)
Intensive instruction in English that must be provided to ELs with less than reasonable fluency or scoring at the Beginning or Early Intermediate level on the CELDT. An EL may be transferred from an SEI classroom when the pupil has acquired a reasonable level of proficiency (Intermediate to Advanced on the CELDT). SEI is an instructional program or methodology for students not meeting the criteria of reasonable fluency. This intensive instruction is to be provided “overwhelmingly in English” by a qualified teacher in a non-specific educational setting. For example, instruction can be administered in a regular classroom or as a pull-out program. SEI must include ELD and access to the core content through SDAIE and primary language support as needed.
2) English Language Mainstream (ELM)
Instruction for students with “reasonable fluency” that is primarily delivered in the context of regular classroom. In the ELM classroom, instruction is “overwhelmingly provided in English.” ELD, SDAIE, and primary language support are also provided to the student.
If a parental exception waiver is requested and granted, students may receive their core curriculum instruction in their primary language and in English. In addition to receiving instruction in the primary language, the student also receives ELD and primary language support for other areas of instruction. For ELs who are also receiving special education services, a parental exception waiver is not required for the student to receive instruction in an alternative primary language program if the IEP team determines this is the appropriate type of program for the student.
Responsibility for Monitoring & Reclassificationof ELs It is the responsibility of the District to designate the persons or team responsible for making the decisions about when to reclassify a student from EL to Reclassified FluentEnglish Proficient (RFEP) and to invite the parents to participate in the reclassification process. Only the District designated persons or team may make this decision based on the California State Board Adopted Guidelines for Reclassification. Districts receiving Title III funds are required under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) to monitor students for two years after reclassification. Districts determine what person or team of persons shall be responsible for monitoring students after they have been reclassified.
Curriculum & Instruction for ELs ELs must be provided standards-aligned instructional materials. These are state-adopted instructional materials in mathematics, science, reading/language arts, and history/social science that are consistent with the content and cycles of the curriculum frameworks and include universal access features that address the needs of ELs (see Appendix A1, A2, A3, & A4 for lists of curricular materials appropriate for EL students).
The State of California English-language Development (ELD) Standards, are designed to supplement the English-language arts content standards and help ensure that ELs develop proficiency in both the English language and the concepts and skills contained in the English language arts content standards. The ELD standards were also used to develop the CELDT. The ELD standards can be downloaded at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/el/admin.asp
Staff Requirements for Teaching ELs The CDE requires that teachers of ELs, to include special education teachers, attain English learner authorization. The type of certificate, permit, or credential required depends on the type of service and/or instruction being provided to ELs. The appropriate certificates, credentials, and permits required, according to the type of EL service provided per EC§ 44258.9, are listed in the chart on the following page.
California Teacher Credentialing (CTC) Requirements Related to EL Students