English Learners

  • What is EL?

    English Learners (EL) is a K-12 program that teaches the English language to students whose native language is not English. Students are taught by licensed EL teachers using a methodology similar to that of teaching a foreign language to a native English speaker. Our current program includes more than 2,000 students, representing 41 languages other than English. Schools must provide equal educational opportunities to all students. Failure to take action to overcome language barriers impedes equal participation. Click HERE  to view the English Learner Written Plan of Service.

    How do students qualify for EL services?

    Any student who indicates a language other than English is spoken in the home, with family, with friends or was learned first is tested in accordance with current laws. Kindergarten students who score below a proficient level on the speaking and pre-literacy skills assessments are enrolled in the district's EL program. First through twelfth-grade students who score below a proficient level on the speaking, listening, reading or writing portions of the assessment are enrolled in the district's EL program. All EL students are assessed on an annual basis to determine growth and progress towards proficiency.

    Which District 742 schools offer EL programs?

    At the elementary level, Discovery, Madison, Oak Hill, Talahi and Westwood schools provide EL instruction. At the secondary level, North Junior High, South Junior High, Tech High School and Apollo High School serve EL students.

    What languages are represented in the program?

    Some of the 39 languages represented in the program are: Arabic, Bengali, Cambodian, Chinese, Croatian, French, Ibo, Indonesian, Nepali, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Oromo, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

    How are EL classes organized?

    • Elementary EL: In elementary schools, EL uses either a pull-out or a push-in model of instruction. English Learning students leave their mainstream classroom to spend a period of time each day in EL instruction. The amount of time a student receives English instruction depends on his/her level of language proficiency. Instruction is focused on English language development with emphasis on increasing vocabulary, reading comprehension and strategies, writing skills, and cultural understanding.
    • Secondary EL: At North, South, Tech and Apollo, EL students are homogeneously grouped according to their level of language proficiency. Classes are at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Guidelines recommend that beginning students study English up to three hours daily; as a student progresses EL time is reduced and other content area classes are added. Students receive credit for all EL classes.

    When do students exit the program?

    Students exit the EL program by gaining proficiency in daily work in mainstream and EL classrooms, achieving on standardized and other tests, and performing on Graduation Standards requirements.