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English Language Learning

Frequently Asked Questions

How are students identified as EL?
Students who have indicated a language other than English on their enrollment form or Home Language Survey are considered as students with “Home Language Survey.” The students are then assessed using the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA).  The student is considered EL if their performance level results in an AZELLA composite score of “Pre-Emergent,” “Emergent,” “Basic,” or “Intermediate.” These students are placed in the Structured English Immersion (SEI) program. Once they obtain an AZELLA composite score of “Proficient,” they are exited from the SEI program.​

How will my son or daughter's instruction be different from students who are not eligible for English Language Services?
Dysart advocates for and implements strategies across all grades for English Learners through the four principles of the Arizona Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition Services:
Asset-Based Behaviors and Expectations 
Integrated Instruction in Disciplinary Language and Content
Targeted and Explicit Language Instruction 
Assessment, Monitoring, and Feedback 
What is meant by Integrated Instruction?  
The Office of English Language Acquisition Services lists the following:
All educators: 
• differentiate disciplinary language instruction using the English Language Proficiency Standards. 
• provide differentiated scaffolds to make grade-level concepts comprehensible in receptive, productive, and interactive language and to support students to make informed and deliberate choices about language when speaking and writing. 
• model learning approaches so students can construct meaning using metacognition strategies. 
• immerse students in a language-rich environment and engage in interactive and discussion-based learning tasks about the language of complex content-area texts. • plan and provide opportunities for students to work together in intellectually rich and integrated learning environments around worthy and engaging inquiry questions, texts, and topics. 
• support EL students’ deep learning and ability to engage in extended academic discourse and abundant, authentic writing. Integrated Instruction in Disciplinary 
Language and Content will support the development of student agency when educators: • provide choices or open-ended opportunities to select strategies and tactics for mastery of language and content. • encourage independent learning by teaching effective strategies for learning language and content. • encourage initiative by creating learning environments that increase motivation and engagement with language and content.
What is Structured English Immersion?
Structured English Immersion (SEI) is an instructional program prescribed in terms of the curriculum and time allocation for the education of English Language Learners (EL).  The time allocation is four hours, and the type of instruction is English Language Development (ELD).

What constitutes ELD?
ELD means English Language Development, the teaching of English language skills to students who are in the process of learning English.  It is distinguished from other types of instruction, e.g., math, science, or social studies, by the content of ELD classroom emphasizing the English language itself.  ELD instruction focuses on phonology (the sound system of language), morphology (the internal structure and forms of words), syntax (English word order rules), lexicon (vocabulary), and semantics (how to use English in different situations and contexts).

Wha is the AZELLA  assessment? 
AZELLA stands for Arizona English Language Learner Assessment.  The AZELLA measures the English proficiency of students eligible for EL services.  The assessment is aligned to the English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards. Arizona Department of Education, Assessment Division, AZELLA​

What are the domains of the AZELLA Assessment?  
1.-Oral Conversation

What are the assessment levels on the AZELLA components?
There are five assessment levels on the AZELLA:  Pre-literacy (K), Primary (Grades 1-2), Elementary (Grades 3-5), Middle Grades (Grades 6-8), and High School.  All assessment sections of the AZELLA, except for speaking, can be administered in a classroom setting. The listening and speaking sections of the AZELLA are individually administered.​

When are students assessed on AZELLA?  How many times per year are they assessed?  Who administers the AZELLA assessment?
Students that score less than proficient on the AZELLA test are eligible for EL services. Students that are eligible for EL services will be administered the Spring AZELLA reassessment annually until student scores proficiency.  ELL Assessment and Data Specialists, ELD teachers, and ELD Language Interventionists will administer the AZELLA Test.​

Are the ELs required to take standardized state tests?
Yes.  EL students are required to participate in all state-mandated testing.

What are the teacher requirements in order to provide ELD instruction?
Teachers are required to have the following:
  • Valid Arizona teaching certificate
  • Provisional or full Structured English Immersion (SEI), English as a Second Language (ESL), or Bilingual endorsement