Student Identification for Bilingual/ESL Services
How Are Students Identified as English Language Learners (ELL)?
Parents are required to complete a home language survey when they enroll their child in school. Then each student who has a language other than English listed on the home language survey is given an oral language proficiency test. The oral language proficiency tests must be approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for the grade level and program services design of the school. In other words, there are a variety of assessments and the ones used are determined by a number of factors including the grade level of the student and the program services provided by the district. If the student has Spanish listed on the home language survey, they are administered the oral language proficiency test in English and Spanish. Students with another language other than Spanish are administered the test in English. Based on the results of the oral language proficiency test(s), the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) convenes in accordance with Texas Administrative Code Chapter 89 to recommend an appropriate program.
How Long are Students Served in Bilingual Programs?
Research states that it takes about 2-3 years for a student to acquire social language and 4-7 years to acquire academic language in their second language. The duration varies from student to student depending on factors such as their level of proficiency in their home language, experiences, and quality of previous education to name a few. Bilingual education programs begin in pre-kindergarten and end at the end of 5th grade. Students still requiring linguistic and academic support at the secondary level continue in the ESL program.
What are the Standards for Exiting ELL Students from the Bilingual or ESL Program?
All the end of the school year, the LPAC convenes to review progress for all ELL students. Based on their performance, students may be eligible to be exited from the bilingual or ESL program and move into two years of monitoring status. The criteria for exiting is the following:
- Score Advanced High on TELPAS: listening, speaking, writing and/ or score fluent English on IPT Oral, & Writing
- Show mastery of reading and writing sections of STAAR in English with no linguistic accommodations provided or
- Score 40% or greater on both ITBS reading and language arts subtests
In accordance with Chapter 89, a student may not be exited from the bilingual education or ESL program in prekindergarten or kindergarten.