English Learning Services (EL)
D41 English Learners services aim to ensure that all linguistically diverse students receive a quality education that enables them to succeed academically, close the achievement gap, and attain proficiency in English within a culturally supportive environment.
On Being Bilingual
All students need fully developed capacities to read, write, speak, listen, and use language strategically and effectively. As our world becomes more global and connected, the development of language and literacy skills in both English and a second language provides significant educational and career advantages.
All English Learners are assessed annually for English proficiency growth and academic progress. The ACCESS test is used to assess English language proficiency, while the IAR test is used to assess academic achievement in English. Additionally, D41 uses a variety of academic measures to monitor the progress of all learners.
It typically takes between 5-7 academic years to learn another language (Collier, V.P, & Thomas, W.P, 1997). Every child is different and, regardless of the type of EL program they are enrolled in, it can take five years or less for students with a strong foundation in their native language to learn another language and up to nine years or more for students who do not possess a strong understanding of their native language.
There are four major components that drive language acquisition for school: sociocultural, linguistic, academic, and cognitive processes. For students with a primary language other than English, these interdependent processes---cognitive, academic, and linguistic development---must occur in a supportive sociocultural environment through both their first language and their second language to enhance student learning (Collier, V.P, & Thomas, W.P, 2007). The scope of District 300’s EL Programs adheres to these principles.