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English Learners

Generally speaking, English Language Learners do not have the English language ability needed to participate fully in American society or achieve their full academic potential in schools and learning environments in which instruction is delivered largely or entirely in English.  In most cases, students are identified as "English Language Learners" (ELLs) after they complete a formal assessment of their English literacy during which they are tested in reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension.  If the assessment results indicate that the student will struggle in regular academic courses, teachers and administration work together to make appropriate placement decisions to ensure the success of English Language Learners.

English Language Learners may also be students who were formerly classified as limited English proficient, but who have since acquired English language abilities that have allowed them to transition into regular academic courses taught in English.  While assessment results may indicate that they have achieved a level of English literacy that allows them to participate and succeed in English-only learning environments, the students may still struggle with academic language.  For this reason, the federal government requires schools and programs receiving federal funding for English Language Learner programs to monitor the academic progress of students and provide appropriate academic support for up to two years after they transition into regular academic courses.

Who is identified as an English Learner (EL)?

An English Learner (EL) is a K-12 student who, based on objective assessment, has not developed sufficient listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiencies in English for participation in the regular school program.  These students are sometimes referred to as Limited English Proficient (LEP).  

The major goal of the EL program is to develop proficiency in English and the district's core curriculum as rapidly and as effectively as possible.  EL students receive up to 45 minutes of daily English Language Development (ELD).  EL students are tested yearly in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills on the ELPAC test.  EL students are reclassified to Fluent English Proficient (R-FEP) after meeting district criteria established to ensure that these students have overcome language barriers, have recouped any academic deficits incurred in other areas of the curriculum, and can demonstrate English language proficiency comparable to that of the school district's average native English language speakers.

Corning Elementary currently has approximately 800 English Learners, most with Spanish as their home language.  These students face the difficult task of learning the academic curriculum and a new language at the same time.  They need to learn English quickly enough and fluently enough to participate in academic work, and like all children, learn grade-level mathematics, reading/language arts, social studies and science.  Corning Union Elementary School District is dedicated to providing the support and resources necessary for the academic and English proficiency of all English Learner students and has developed the following resource:

CUESD's MASTER PLAN: A Guide to Services for English Learners

CUESD has become a member of the Stanford ELL Leadership Network, beginning in the 2011-12 school year.  This group has refined the focus of member districts, bringing to light the issue of Long-Term ELs (LTELs) or those ELs who have been with us for six or more years, but have not successfully reached the level of achievement needed to be reclassified to R-FEP.  The Stanford Network has teamed up with member districts and we at CUESD are proud and excited to be grouped with Sanger and Firebaugh/Las Deltas.

English Learner Advisory Committees at both the school (ELAC) and district (DELAC) levels provide an integrated school staff, parent, and community group to help ensure that the district's EL progrm is well-planned, effectively implemented, and ultimately successful in achieving its goals for EL students.  We invite you to inquire at your child's school and learn about the school ELAC and district DELAC.

What is the purpose of the ELPAC Test?

State and federal laws require that local educational agencies (LEAs) administer a state test of English language proficiency to (1) newly enrolled students whose primary language is not English, as an initial assessment, and (2) students who are English learners (ELs), as an annual summative assessment (SA).  For California's public school students, this test is the ELPAC.

The ELPAC is used to assess and monitor EL students' progress toward English language proficiency.  EL students continue to take the ELPAC SA annually until they meet their LEA's reclassification criteria.
(information taken from this page)

Which students are required to take the ELPAC?

Students with a primary language other than English, as determined by a home language survey, who have not taken the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) or ELPAC before and who have not been previously classified as an EL, must take the ELPAC Initial Assessment (IA).

Students designated as ELs via the CELDT or ELPAC IA are required to take the ELPAC SA annually until they are reclassified as fluent English proficient. (information taken from this page)