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educating English
Learners

There are more than 61,000 English Learners (ELs) speaking more than 200 different languages in Pennsylvania. The education of students whose dominant language is not English and who are ELs is the responsibility of every Local Education Agency (LEA). Title 22, Chapter 4, Section 4.26 of the Curriculum Regulations requires the LEA to provide a program for every student who is an English learner (EL).

The goal of language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) is to facilitate the development and attainment of English proficiency and academic achievement of students whose native or first language is not English. Without instruction in social and academic English and appropriate support for learning academic content, these students are at risk of losing the educational opportunities provided to non-EL students. 

Educating English Learners (ELS)  (PDF) outlines program regulations and guidance related to the education of ELs in Pennsylvania. 

DEFINITION OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (ELD)

ELD is a required component of all language instruction educational programs (LIEPs). ELD takes place daily throughout the day for ELs and is delivered by both ESL teachers and non-ESL teachers.

ELD delivered by ESL teachers

English language development instruction, otherwise known as English as a second language, delivered by a licensed ESL teacher is its own content area. ELD in this context is driven by language, but it draws from general education content as a vehicle for instruction in order to contextualize language learning. It must be codified in a dedicated and planned curriculum specifically designed to develop the English language proficiency of ELs so that they are able to use English in social and academic settings and access challenging academic standards. ELD instruction provides systematic, explicit, and sustained language instruction designed to prepare students for the general academic program by focusing, in meaningful and contextualized circumstances, on the academic language structures that underpin social and academic constructs. It can be taught as a stand-alone class or course but may also be embedded within other courses with the direct support of an ESL program specialist as appropriate based on the program design and needs of the students.

ELD delivered by non-ESL teachers

ELD must be incorporated into all classes taught by non-ESL licensed teachers in which ELs are enrolled. These teachers are responsible for deliberately planning for and incorporating language instruction as well as supports, modifications, and accommodations needed to allow ELs to access the standards to which the course is aligned.

English Language Development Standards

Pennsylvania's English Language Development Standards for English Learners (ELDS for ELs) have been carefully developed to meet compliance with federal requirements by providing a framework for standards-based instructional and assessment planning for ELs so that they may attain English proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging academic content standards that all children are expected to meet.

Family Engagement/Communication

PDE, in collaboration with Chester County Intermediate Unit, provides access to TransAct, an online school document translation service that allows every district, every school, and every educator in Pennsylvania with professional multilingual parent notifications to effectively meet the parent communication requirements mandated by federal law. The following step-by-step instructions provide information on how to use the TransAct parent notices site.

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