Our school serves a diverse population within the English Language Development department. The ELD services help English Language Learners (ELL’s) become proficient in academic and everyday English, and to learn the necessary content ensuring success in school and after graduation. Services include English language development, depending on the necessary differentiation for each student’s unique level of language development. The strategies help each student reach English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Bennett Elementary, an IB World School, currently serves and oversees documentation for 28 Students in this program. These students represent 12 different home languages. We are proud to share that most of these students maintain their first language while acquiring English. ELD Students and families are served in various ways, including direct instruction, push in support, translation services and connecting families with community resources. Our ELD staff also work toward bridging communication efforts between home and school, and assist with securing resources for ELD families.
English Language Development (ELD)
Structured ELD is required for all Non-English Proficient (NEP) and Limited English Proficient (LEP) language learners. ELD is a dedicated time and targeted instruction within the school day that is aligned with its own language acquisition proficiency standards.
ELD instruction is designed specifically to advance English Learners knowledge and use of English in increasingly sophisticated ways. In the context of the larger effort to help English learners succeed in school, ELD instruction is designed to help them learn and acquire English to a level of proficiency that maximizes their capacity to engage successfully in academic studies in English. (Saunders, W., Goldenberg, Cl, & Marcelletti, D. 2013).
Identifying Second Language Learners
Upon Student enrollment, a student Home Language and Residency Form is completed by parents/guardians. Front office personnel then disseminate copies of this form to a site and district representative when there is any indication of another language background on the form. At this point, the PSD Identification and Enrollment for Language Learners Flowchart is followed by a trained ELA staff member (appendix A). Students who are confirmed to have language background or influence of a language other than English are assessed using the WIDA ACCESS Placement Text (W-APT). The Colorado Department of Education’s screening cut scores and guidelines are adhered to.
Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are informed of assessment results and whether or not the student qualifies as an English Learner. A Parent Notification Letter is sent from the ELA department which includes W-APT results.
Teacher and other integral school staff are notified of a student’s ELA identification and are provided information on language proficiency levels and professional development opportunities.
Types of Language Instruction
Colorado and the English Language Proficiency Program
The ELPA Program is a categorical program that supports the requirement to provide an evidence-based English language development program for all English learners. The goal of the program is to increase the English language proficiency and academic performance of English learners. It is funded annually on a per pupil basis. For more information on the formula, please refer to the PDF Colorado ELPA and October count.
Identified students may receive funding for up to a total of five budget years. The district is obligated to provide ELD services ELs. It is the duty of the district to provide an evidence based ELD program for ELs to enable them to develop and acquire English language proficiency while achieving and maintain grade-level performance in academic content.