As of September 2019, Illinois State Board of Education has expanded the terminology of English Learners (ELs) to Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) as well as the term of Multilingual Learners (MLLs). As for the purpose of this guiding document, students learning English will be referred to as ELs, Emergent Bilinguals and Multilingual Learners.
Emergent Bilinguals (EBs)
Any student in preschool through grade 8, whose home language background is a language other than English and whose proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding of English is not yet sufficient to meet grade-level standards in an English setting.
Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE)
A program for Spanish-speaking students who are acquiring English. This program utilizes native language for grade-level instruction. Students receive daily English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction. As students acquire more academic language, they are transitioned into English instruction. We provide instruction that is most appropriate for meeting student’s needs, as well as being aligned to state and district guidelines. Grades Pre-K -4th
Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI)
A program to serve students from low incidence language backgrounds. The program provides support to help students succeed in academic subjects and learn English. The methodology of English instruction makes connections to the home language to the greatest extent possible and focuses on language development through meaningful experiences within content areas.
Home Language Survey
At the time of registration, families must complete a Home Language Survey (HLS). On this survey, there are two questions related to language use in the home. If a family answers YES to either question, the student’s English language proficiency is screened.
- Is another language other than English spoken in your home?
- Does your child speak another language other than English?
This screening process of English language proficiency is required by law for all school districts in Illinois. It is your child’s right to be screened and receive support if they qualify for English Learner services.
The main purpose of both programs is to enable emergent bilinguals to become competent in comprehension, listening, speaking, reading, and writing through the development of literacy and academic skills in English. Both programs emphasize the mastery of English language skills as integral parts of the academic goals for all students to participate equitably in school.
The state of Illinois sets the cutoff scores for English language proficiency. When students do not meet proficiency as designated by the state, they have the right to receive English language support. Qualifying students are placed into an English Learner program. Parents may accept or reject services at any time.
Qualifying emergent bilinguals must be assessed annually with the state required assessment, ACCESS. This assessment measures students’ level of English proficiency and growth in English acquisition and academic vocabulary. Emergent bilinguals must take this test every year until they no longer qualify (4.8 overall), according to the state of Illinois. Once a student is identified as an emergent bilingual, the only way of exiting the program is to meet English language proficiency criteria on this annual assessment, as set by the state of Illinois.