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English Language Learning

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.



How are students identified as EL?

Students who have indicated a language other than English on their Home Language Survey are 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.​

What is Integrated Instruction? 

All educators share the responsibility for designing instruction that integrates language and literacy development with content learning. This is accomplished by using content standards to plan instruction along with the English Language Proficiency Standards to support differentiation by language proficiency level. Through the use of scaffolded supports, academic language development, and collaborative discussions, reading, and writing, educators help students develop disciplinary content knowledge, language, and autonomy. 


All educators: 

• differentiate disciplinary language instruction using the English Language Proficiency Stand

ards. 

• 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. 


Through participation in integrated language and content instruction, EL students will develop a sense of voice, confidence, and self-determination as they use content and language in tandem to meet their goals.

Targeted Instruction

Explicit language instruction is a critical opportunity to intentionally support English learner (EL) students in developing the discourse practices they need to engage with rigorous, grade-level disciplinary content. Just as literacy and language should be integrated into content instruction, so should content and disciplinary practices be integrated into language instruction. Educators use the English Language Proficiency Standards with content material to teach language. 


All educators: 


• create opportunities for students to use language and reflect on their understanding across the four language domains (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) and in direct connection to rigorous, grade-level content. 

• design instruction that fosters EL students’ autonomy by equipping them with the strategies necessary to comprehend and use language in a variety of academic settings. 

• immerse students in a language rich environment that fosters critical thinking and problem solving. 

• utilize language supports, academic language development, and opportunities for academic discourse. 

• provide age/grade level appropriate instruction & materials that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and aligned to the English Language Proficiency Standards. 

• design explicit instruction that provides students with an understanding of how language functions with a content discipline lens. 


Targeted and explicit language instruction will support the development of student agency when educators: 


• provide choices or open-ended opportunities to select strategies and tactics for language acquisition. 

• encourage independent learning by teaching effective strategies for learning language. 

• encourage initiative by creating learning environments that increase motivation and engagement with language acquisition. 


Through participation in targeted and explicit language instruction, EL students will develop a sense of voice, confidence, and self-efficacy around their language use.


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 proficient.  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.

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