A limited English proficient (“LEP”) student is defined as a student whose native language is not English and whose inability or limited ability to speak, understand, read or write English significantly impedes educational progress.
Identification of LEP Students
For the purpose of identifying potential LEP students, a language survey is to be filled out for each student at the time of initial registration for school. The survey ascertains the first language acquired by the student, the language most often spoken by the student, and the language spoken in the home.
Assessment of LEP Students
A student whose language survey indicates that s/he may have limited English proficiency is assessed specifically for English language proficiency. If the results of the assessment demonstrate inability or limited ability to speak, understand, read, or write English, the school will design a program designed to promote functional ability in English in the preceding skill areas.
Since it is also important for placement decisions to assess content area knowledge, the school will seek this information through previous school records, nonverbal measures, and so on.
The district will also attempt to assess native language proficiency, as indicative of conceptual development for younger children, and degree of literacy for older children.
Students deemed to be Limited English Proficient are to be placed at the grade level of their age group as much as possible in order to facilitate language acquisition and social adaptation. Placement in a language instruction program depends on the age and English proficiency of the student.
Language Instruction Programs
Due to small numbers of students of widely varying language backgrounds and levels of English proficiency, English as a Second Language programs are those commonly chosen to meet the instructional needs of LEP students at the district. Such a program is designed to provide LEP students with a functional ability in the English language and an awareness of American cultural patterns.
The major aim of ESL instruction is to develop the skills of LEP students so they can function in school and in society at a level comparable to their native English speaking peers. The goals of the program are to:
- provide students with English language skills appropriate to their grade level as efficiently and carefully as possible.
- orient students to the cultural patterns of American life so they can fully participate in classroom activities and community activities.
- develop students' awareness of cultural diversity and encourage pride in their own bilingualism and biculturalism.
- enable students to make as much progress as possible in their academic subjects by providing them with supplementary materials, instruction and tutoring.
- provide a person in the school environment who understands the growth and development patterns of the learner.
Design a Program
Assessment measures used to determine English proficiency are also used diagnostically, along with any other measures deemed necessary. Based on this diagnosis, a specific program design is selected (pull out, content area English, and so on).
The teacher in the ESL program must be certified in the state of Iowa.
Reassessment of Student
LEP students are reassessed annually in order to determine whether they are ready to exit the program or need continued instructional support. In order to exit the program, the following areas are considered:
- teacher observation and assessment
- parent reports
- student attitudes and behaviors
- cultural pride and adjustment to new culture
- awareness of new value system
- positive school attitudes
- language proficiency assessment instruments
- student grade reports
- standardized test results
If continued support is needed, diagnosis takes place again, and the program may be modified to meet changing student needs.
Evaluation of Program
The program itself is evaluated at the end of the year by the ESL teacher and the school principal with input from various client groups.
Approved: September 29, 2015