The English as a Second Language (ESL) program provides students who have a language background other than English with equal access to academic content and to experience academic learning success in classes where English is the language of instruction. The program is designed to increase the English language proficiency skills in the areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. English Learners must experience the same academic curriculum as native English speakers, regardless of the language, race, ethnicity, or religion of the EL student (Civil Rights Act of 1964; Lau v. Nichols; Castaneda v. Pickard; Plyler v. Doe; etc.). The ESL “curriculum” is essentially the “general” curriculum that a native-English speaker would experience in each subject area. Therefore, the EL curriculum will be the general curriculum plus additional supports to help the EL student fully understand the core curriculum. Native language support is given, whenever possible, to enhance the educational development of each student. The program is staffed by ESL teachers and EL Program Assistants.
Eligibility for English Learners (ELs)
At the time of registration, all new families to the district complete a Student Information Form and the Home Language Survey. In accordance with Illinois School Code 228.15, the district screens the English language proficiency of each student identified through the Home Language Survey as having a non-English background by using the prescribed screening instrument applicable to the student’s grade level. Students are screened to determine their English language proficiency, which determines whether they qualify for services in the English Language Program (Dual or ESL). Berwyn North District 98 uses the Illinois State Board of Education prescribed screening instruments: PRE-IPT, WIDA Screener, MODEL™ and ACCESS 2.0 as its basis for determining student eligibility. A recommendation regarding appropriate placement and services is made based on the results of the prescribed screening. Berwyn North District 98 offers a variety of EL programs to meet the various needs of EL students based on ISBE regulations.
English Learners Assessment
ACCESS 2.0 for ELsTM stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Learners.
ACCESS 2.0 for ELs™ is a test that assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies within the school context across the four language domains: : Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.
Below are the six English language proficiency levels:
These levels describe the student's progression from knowing little or no English to acquiring the English skills necessary to be successful in an English-only mainstream classroom without extra support.