Academics » English Language Development (ELD)

English Language Development (ELD)




The district must provide appropriate English Language Development (ELD) instruction to students who are English Learners (EL) so they can attain English language proficiency, as well as content knowledge in core academic subject areas, based on the Board-approved academic standards.


The district will provide a Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP) that includes research-based ELD instruction at the appropriate proficiency level; content area instruction aligned with the corresponding academic standards and adapted to meet the needs of students; and assessment processes that reflect academic standards and instruction.




English Learner (EL) – a student enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary or secondary school, who:

  1. Was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English; or

  2. Is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English language proficiency; or

  3. Is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant;


and whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual:


  1. The ability to meet the challenging state academic standards;

  2. The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or

  3. The opportunity to participate fully in society.



Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP) - an instruction course:


  1. In which an English Learner is placed for the purpose of developing and attaining English proficiency, while meeting challenging state academic standards; and

  2. That may make instructional use of both English and a student’s native language to enable the student to develop and attain English proficiency, and may include the participation of English proficient students if such course is designed to enable all participating students to become proficient in English and a second language.


Language Instruction Educational Program


The district will plan, develop, implement, resource and evaluate a LIEP based on law, regulations, state requirements and federal funding requirements. The LIEP must meet the
needs of the district’s EL students and be based on sound educational theory. The LIEP will be identified as:  EL Bilingual.


English Language Development Instruction –


ELD will be delivered by certified English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and non-ESL teachers throughout the day as part of specialized instruction and as part of core content in the general curriculum.


ELD instruction will be part of the approved, planned curriculum, and will be provided

  1. as stand-alone courses.
  2. as part of the general planned instruction courses, with the support of ESL staff.

Non-ESL staff will incorporate ELD into all classes for EL students, as well as provide supports, modifications and accommodations for curricular content to enable EL students to achieve academic standards.


ELD may replace core content in general curriculum courses in order to provide more direct instruction for EL students for a period of less than one (1) school year. The district will develop a plan to immediately assist the EL student in reducing the gap in academic achievement for core content.


Provision of Resources –


The district will provide adequate resources to effectively implement the LIEP, including but not limited to:

  1. Employing adequate certified ESL staff for delivery of ELD.
  2. Ensuring ESL staff have adequate time to collaborate with non-ESL staff for delivery of ELD, modification of core content and monitoring progress to meet the needs of EL students.

  3. Purchasing and maintaining specialized materials to support ELD as necessary.

  4. Ensuring that the LIEP receives the same resources as other academic programs and approved curriculum.

  5. Providing adequate professional development for all staff working with EL students.


Evaluation of LIEP –


The district will implement, monitor and evaluate the LIEP as required by law, regulations and state guidelines.


The district will annually evaluate the LIEP for effectiveness based on student outcomes and student achievement data, and report the results to the state through the English Learner Reporting System (ELRS).


The LIEP must be designed to enable EL students to attain both English proficiency and equal participation in core academic content within a reasonable period of time—if the LIEP is not achieving both criteria, the district will review and modify the LIEP.


Evaluation of the LIEP will be based on achievement data of current EL students, former EL students, and students who have not been designated as EL, and may be based on data that includes but is not limited to:


  1. Scores on state and local assessments.

  2. Scores on annual English language proficiency assessments.

  3. Grades in core content courses.

  4. Other indicators of college and career readiness.

Student Placement and Grading


Students will be screened and assessed for designation as EL using the Home Language Survey and English Learner Identification Procedure. The district will determine a student’s appropriate instructional placement, based on the student’s English language and native language proficiency, in accordance with the LIEP.


Students with disabilities and gifted students will be provided with appropriate ELD instruction in accordance with their Individualized Education Program (IEP)/Gifted Individualized Education Plan (GIEP) and state and federal laws and regulations. The district will ensure that the IEP/GIEP team for an EL student includes an ESL professional familiar with the student’s

language needs. The district will follow the state requirements and guidelines for IEP/GIEP development, academic programming and assessments for students with disabilities and gifted students who are also identified as EL students.


Grading –


EL students will be graded within the same grading system for core content courses that is used for all district students.


The district will grade EL students in ELD specific courses or instructional periods with a grading system that clearly demonstrates progress or achievement.


The district will communicate an EL student’s progress in English language proficiency to parents/guardians at least annually. Communication to parents/guardians regarding an EL student’s ELD instruction and English language proficiency will be provided as part of the student’s report card/progress report, through special communication, and shall be in the language and mode of communication preferred by the parents/guardians.


A student’s designation as EL and any ELD instruction information will not be included on a student’s high school transcript, unless the information is part of a course title or code.


Retention –


EL students will not be retained in a grade based solely on their lack of English proficiency.


Prior to considering retention, the district will implement and document appropriate modifications and accommodations to instruction and assessment aligned to the student’s English language proficiency over time, to ensure the EL student is provided meaningful access to the general curriculum and academic standards, as well as attainment of English language proficiency.


Equal Access


The district will ensure that all EL students have access to and are encouraged to participate in all educational and extracurricular programs available to district students, including but not limited to, career and technical programs, extracurricular activities and interscholastic athletics.




PA Department of Education – Educating English Learners resources


U.S. Department of Education: English Learner Tool Kit


PA Department of Education: Pennsylvania Consolidated State Plan, Every Student Succeeds Act


Diagnostic Tool for Taking Your Program’s Pulse


For more information, please review Board Policy 138