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) 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.