English Language Learner (ELL) Programs
Definition of English Language Proficiency in Illinois
Currently, Illinois ELLs’ English proficiency is assessed annually, in listening, speaking, reading and writing, using WIDA’s ACCESS for ELLs. Students who meet or exceed IL proficiency levels may be transitioned from the TBE/TPI program as allowed under Part 228 of the IL Administrative Code. Students in Illinois who obtain a composite (overall) proficiency level of 4.8 will be considered English language proficient. The district’s English Language Learner (ELL) teachers will use these results to assist them in planning appropriate English instructional support. They will continue to collaborate with other faculty/staff to ensure the development of a strong academic program where your child will feel successful.
ELL Services Eligibility
The District 220 procedure for identifying and assessing pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade ELLs follows the procedures outlined in Article 14C of the Illinois Administrative Code. All language minority students identified from the District 220 Home Language Survey (HLS) as coming from families where there is another language spoken in the home must be assessed using the ACCESS/WIDA Placement Test (W-APT). All ELLs are reported each year to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) through the Public School Census extracted by Infinite Campus (IC) to ISBE by the Information Services Department of District 220.
A copy of the District 220 HLS for all entering students is sent for review to the ELL Department by a staff member of Information Services. The Bilingual Testing Facilitator reviews the HLS of registered students to identify which students must be assessed. The home language survey contains the State mandated questions used to identify which students qualify for English language proficiency testing.
As applicable, the Bilingual Testing Facilitator calls the families and arranges a date for testing the student. District 220 early childhood staff in the state prekindergarten program also compile a list of all prekindergarten ELLs to be tested. Prekindergarten ELLs not enrolled in a District 220 early childhood program are identified for testing from the HLS when they register.
Screening-Prekindergarten: On the Pre-IPT-4th Edition, Oral Designation, 3 year old students must achieve Levels D/E; 4/5 year old students must achieve Level E to be considered fluent English speaking (FES).
Screening-Kindergarten through 1st grade, first semester: As of 1-1-14, students entering the 1st semester of Kdg must score at least a 5.0 composite ORAL proficiency level on the WIDA MODEL to be considered English language proficient. Students entering the 2nd semester of Kdg through first semester of 1st grade must score an overall composite proficiency level of 5.0 as well as a reading proficiency level of 4.2 and a writing proficiency level of 4.2 on the WIDA MODEL to be considered English language proficient.
Screening-1st grade, second semester through 12th Grade: As of 1-1-14, students entering 2nd semester of 1st grade through 12th grade must achieve an overall composite proficiency level of 5.0 as well as a reading proficiency level of 4.2 and a writing proficiency level of 4.2 on the W-APT to be considered English language proficient.
A student who scores below minimum proficiency levels is ELL, and is eligible for TBE/TPI services.
All District 220 ELL teachers are highly qualified. Teachers in the TBE/OWI, TPI and DL programs must have an appropriate valid IL teaching licensure and in addition, all TBE/OWI and DL teachers must have either a Type 29 (IL Provisional Bilingual Certificate), an IL Bilingual Approval, or an IL Bilingual Endorsement. TPI teachers must have an IL ESL Approval or Endorsement. ELL program administrators must have a Type 75 (Administrative Certificate) and also have an IL Bilingual Approval or an IL Bilingual Endorsement. ELL Directors must also speak the language of the majority of ELL students when the ELL population is over 200 students in any given language.
District 220 offers three programs for ELLs; all of which are based on scientific research.
Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), which is our One Way Immersion (OWI) Developmental Bilingual Program, is designed for Spanish speaking ELLs in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The goals for students in the TBE/OWI program include a smooth transition into mainstream classrooms as well as bilingualism, bi-literacy, and high academic achievement. At the elementary level self-contained TBE/OWI full-time classrooms are located at Sunny Hill School. At the secondary level (grades 6-12) we offer TBE part-time; students are in general education blocks but receive native language support from certified bilingual teachers. Additionally, TBE certified teachers co-teach with general education teachers. TBE students in grades 6-12 can also participate in our advanced Spanish courses that further develop their native language. TBE schools include both District 220 middle schools and Barrington High School.
Program Goals for the TBE/OWI Program are consistent with requirements of Article 14 C of the IL School Code. The main goals of the TBE/OWI program are to provide ESL instruction and native language instruction for the purpose of transitioning Spanish speaking ELLs into mainstream classes, where English is the medium of instruction.
Length of time in the TBE/OWI Programs: Students should remain in the TBE/OWI program until they have at least reached state criteria on the WIDA ACCESS test; which is the standardized test of English language proficiency mandated in IL. The test assesses the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as the instructional language of the content areas of math, science and social studies in English.
Curriculum and Instruction: TBE/OWI students develop English proficiency in the four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing; as well as the instructional language used in math, science and social studies. ELLs in the TBE/OWI program are taught by general education and TBE/OWI teachers using the District 220 core curriculum materials, WIDA English Development (ELD) Standards and progression from the IL Learning Standards to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
The role of the parent in the TBE/OWI program is crucial. Parents are urged to participate in their child’s education for maximum academic and language success. Many opportunities will be available for parental involvement in homework, classroom activities and adult workshops in English. TBE/OWI parents are invited to join the District 220 Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC) which meets at least four times a year and collaborates with all District 220 staff. The District 220 Family School Liaison (FSL) and Director of ELL work with all ELL parents to encourage family involvement in every aspect of their children’s education.
The Dual Language (DL) Program is designed for Spanish speaking ELLs in kindergarten through fifth grade. Self-contained DL classrooms are made up of 50-60% native Spanish speakers and 40-50% native English speakers instructed by a certified bilingual teacher. The goals of the Dual Language Program are high academic achievement, bilingualism, bi-literacy and biculturalism for all students. The goals also include a smooth transition into mainstream classrooms at sixth grade. There are Dual Language classrooms at three elementary schools and The Early Learning Center.
Student Selection Procedures are different than those for the TBE/OWI or TPI programs as DL classrooms also include native English speaking students. The goal for enrollment of the DL program is the enrollment of K-12 Spanish-speaking ELLs. The goal is to have no more than 60 percent Spanish dominant students. In addition, the gender and ethnicity of the English dominant students should reflect the makeup of students in other classrooms at the program sites. Students will be placed at one of the program sites. ELL students automatically qualify for the DL program. The DL application in English and Spanish is made available to all prospective kindergarten students within the District 220 attendance area. It is distributed at kindergarten information nights. Student applications are accepted from all District 220 schools and each student is assigned a random number that is used in the selection process. Selections are based on the selection criteria noted below. Parents are notified of student selections in spring and given a confirmation deadline. If the confirmation deadline is missed then the offer is rescinded and another student is selected. Class lists are forwarded to building principals. After the school year begins, if English dominant slots become available, students are selected from the current year’s applicant list to fill the openings based on their random number. English dominant students can enter the program only in kindergarten. Bilingual Spanish/English students who do not qualify as ELL can apply to the DL Program as an English speaker and follow the same application process as a native English speaker. ELL Spanish speaking students can enter the program at any grade. Parents are asked to sign a commitment statement, agreeing to have their child remain in the program through grade five, as part of the acceptance requirements.
Length of Stay in the DL Program: The families of students who are enrolled in the DL program are asked to keep their children in the program through fifth grade so that program goals can be achieved, the educational plan can be continuous and the language balance required by the program can be maintained.
Program Goals for the DL program are threefold: 1.) Students will develop high levels of proficiency in both English and Spanish, 2.) Students will develop positive attitudes about language and multiculturalism and 3.) Parents are encouraged to take part in their child’s learning in the classroom and in after-school activities.
DL Program Components: Dual Language is a Spanish program option for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. DL Program has the following components: 1.) The DL classrooms have approximately half Spanish speaking and half English speaking students with a certified bilingual teacher, 2.) Specific content is taught, and bridged, to students in either Spanish or English based on Content Language Allocations per grade level.
Curriculum and Instruction: The District 220’s kindergarten through fifth grade core curriculum materials are available in either, or both, Spanish and English. ie: Harcourt reading series Tropheos, Math in Focus, FOSS Science, McMillan social studies and Fountas and Pinnell Continuum of Literacy Framework. The DL program curriculum also integrates the local District 220 curriculum standards, the WIDA English Language Development Standards, the IL Spanish Language Arts Standards and the IL Learning Standards/CCSS into classroom curriculum and instruction. Teachers use challenging Sheltered Instructional strategies that promote high levels of language and academic achievement.
The Role of Parents in the DL Program is crucial. Parents are urged to participate in their child’s education for maximum academic and language success. Many opportunities will be available for parental involvement in homework and classroom activities. Additionally for parents of ELLs in the DL Program there are adult workshops in English and parents are invited to join the District 220 Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC) which meets at least four times a year and collaborates with all District 220 staff. The District 220 Family School Liaison (FSL) and Director of ELL work with all ELL parents to encourage family involvement in every aspect of their children’s education.
The Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) program, which is our English as a Second Language Program, is designed for ELLs in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade who speak languages other than English. In the TPI program students are in general education classrooms and receive English language acquisition support from an ESL certified teacher through either a pull-out or push in model of Sheltered Instruction. The goals for students in the TPI program include a smooth transition into mainstream classrooms as well as high academic achievement. The TPI program is offered at all B220 schools.
When a child is identified as limited English proficient, on the English language screener, she/he is placed in the TPI program if the TBE Program is not available or applicable. Parents have the option of refusing or waiving services; however, parents must speak with an ELL educator first in order to understand the services that they are refusing. Parents must also sign a waiver explaining that they understand the rights and services that they are refusing. The Waiver is filed in the student’s ELL folder, indicated in both the District and State of Illinois student databases, and reevaluated each year until meeting English proficiency per the annual ACCESS test.
TPI Program Components and Curriculum: At the elementary level, students who are learning English are placed in a homeroom with other students of the same grade level. A TPI teacher who specializes in English language acquisition either pushes-in or pulls out students to help students with the content area they are learning. If needed, students also receive extra support with mathematics and other core content areas. The curriculum includes both oral and written activities appropriate for the language level of each individual student.
The middle school TPI teachers also use a sheltered instructional approach (SIOP). TPI teachers use adapted District 220 core curriculum materials in reading, language arts and social studies as well as appropriate ESL and SIOP materials. TPI students are placed in general education math and science classrooms but receive specialized tutoring if they need extra help in those two classes.
The role of the parent in the TPI program is crucial. Parents are urged to participate in their child’s education for maximum academic and language success. Many opportunities will be available for parental involvement in homework, classroom activities and adult workshops in English. TPI parents are invited to join the District 220 BPAC which meets at least four times a year and collaborates with all District 220 staff. The District 220 FSL and Director of ELL work with all ELL parents to encourage family involvement in every aspect of their children’s education.
For answers to further questions, please contact Becky Wiegel, Director Language Programs and Grants at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-842-3522.