English Learners (ELs) are students who have been exposed to other languages through their home, school life, country of origin or community. Potential ELs are identified during the registration process using a home language survey. The EL Specialists assess the students’ English proficiency and make any recommendations for services.
English Language instruction is provided by EL Specialists who have full teacher certification with additional ESOL certification, which requires substantial additional coursework and training in English language development. English Language instruction is content-based language development with interventions as needed for assistance with literacy and academic needs. This means that the EL Specialists plan lessons using academic content from Social Studies, English Language Arts, Science and Mathematics to teach academic English.
WIDA Consortium: Standards, Can-Dos, Assessment & Guiding Principles:
The State of Missouri belongs to the WIDA Consortium for teaching and assessing English Learners. WIDA provides English Language Development (ELD) standards and Can-Dos which focus on Social and Academic language development at all levels of language acquisition. Additional resources from WIDA include the Guiding Principles of Language Development which focus on the Social-Emotional, Cross-Linguistic, and Cross-Cultural aspects of teaching and learning across languages.
English Learners take the WIDA ACCESS English language assessment in the early spring (January-March) of each school year. English Learners also participate in all regular District and State assessments.