English Language Learners (ELL)
Who is an ELL student?
An ELL student is one whose native language is not English or who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant, and does not have the ability to meet the state’s proficiency level of academic achievements.
How is an ELL student identified and placed in the ELL Program?
Every student who enrolls in MCPS completes a Home Language Survey. If the home language is one other than English, the student will be identified as a potential ELL student. At this point the ELL teacher will conduct a set of language screenings (including the W-APT (WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test)) to determine the student’s language proficiency level and eligibility for the ELL Program to receive services.
What does MCPS offer for ELL students and their families?
ELL Program – The ELL Program is designed to meet social and educational needs of ELL students with an emphasis on the development of competency in language acquisition. The ELL language curriculum provides for the development of English proficiency skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, allowing students to be successful in content areas for state assessments. Summer and After School – Sessions held during normal summer school scheduling are provided as an opportunity for struggling ELL students. These sessions provide emphasis on social and language skills without the pressure of the academic curriculum timeline that the students face during the regular school year. Students are involved in hands-on group activities. Parent Meetings – MCPS understands the importance of parent involvement as a factor for ELL students’ success. As a result, the county offers monthly meetings for parents of students enrolled in the ELL Program. Parents who attend these meetings are offered English language classes, computer sessions, and information concerning school and community events.
What test can an ELL take?
ACCESS for ELLs SOL (with possible accommodations)
STAR Reading and Math
Other appropriate countywide testing
What is the length of the time that a student can receive ELL services?
Research shows that achieving academic proficiency in English takes 7 – 10 years for students who have not studied in their first language and 4 – 7 years for students who have had education in their first language. Based on this fact, the length of time that an ELL student remains in the program varies for each student.
Monitoring and Exit Criteria
Monitoring of an ELL student is a transitional time when the student has made progress but still receives some support from the ELL Tutor. The ELL tutor monitors the student’s grades and discusses progress with the classroom teacher during this transitional time. Generally students will be monitored for two years to make sure that they continue to make appropriate progress and reach full proficiency. These students are identified as FLEP (former LEP). Students that exit the ELL Program are those who have met the proficiency in all areas of language domain- listening, speaking, reading and writing. ELL tutors regularly attend workshops and training to learn best practices and research based strategies for ELL Instruction.