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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 “Primary Home Language Other Than English” or PHLOTE. 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?
A student who is eligible to receive English Language Services will receive them by having an Individualized Language Learning Program (ILLP) created or by placement in an English Language Development/Structured English Immersion (ELD/SEI) class.  In both cases, subject area content is delivered, but there is an additional focus on learning English.

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).

How are the four hours of ELD instruction to be implemented?
K-8 - Students who have obtained an AZELLA composite score of Pre-emergent/Emergent, Basic, and Intermediate receive 4 hours of ELD instruction which is divided into the following specific areas with specific time allocations:

Oral Conversation/Vocabulary - 60 minutes (divided into 30 minutes instruction)
Reading – 60 minutes
Grammar – 60 minutes
Vocabulary – 60 minutes

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 assessment levels on the AZELLA components?
There are 5 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