English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language (ESL) for English Language Learners (ELLs)

The purpose of this website is to connect area educators with resources which will help them as they they strive to serve the needs of ELLs in their schools. The main areas of attention are

  • Michigan Department of Education and NCLB expectations,
  • Resources for Educators, including professional development, curriculum planning, etc. and
  • Accessible Resources for Teachers and Students

Michigan Department of Education and NCLB Expectations

It is the expectation of all schools that they will help non-English speakers to succeed. A Home Language Survey must be given to students registering at your school, and if English is not the first language in the home, the student must receive an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA Screener for first timers) within ten school days of enrollment.

The results of that assessment, combined with the teacher /school assessment (including previous school information) is used to determine if the student is placed into 1) ELL (English language learning) Program, or 2) mainstream education with accommodations, or 3) not requiring ESL services, due to ability to function with other mainstream students. The ELPA Primer and/or the ELPA FAQ may be helpful to those unfamiliar with the assessment.

If the student is in need of special help, the school must have a plan for addressing those needs. The “State Manual to Assist School Districts in Their Work with English Language Learners ” describes fully what schools must do. MDE has also compiled a document called Links to ELL Documents and Resources , which provides a wealth of information and links, ranging from the many acronyms used in the field to links to ESL curriculum resources, how to link home, school and community and teacher certification. An additional resource is the MiMap School Improvement Tool Kit (available at LISD CEMaT) which was developed specifically to help schools in the areas which are challenging them. It has sections specially devoted to ESL.

Resources for Educators

In addition to the many resources provided by Michigan Department of Education, there are other Intermediate School Districts with large number of ELLs who have long and strong ESL Programs. Three which have ESL web pages and very good resources are: Wayne RESA., Genesee ISD and Kent ISD . These sites have numerous links ranging from curriculum, to translated documents, (such as the Home Language Survey) to parent interaction tips.

For professional development in the area of ESL, sign up to be on MDE’s ESL listserve. Also consider taking a webinar through Schools Moving Up , a federally funded web based training program with a good number directed toward work with ELLs. They archive the webinars, so you can do a search for ones limited to work with that population at whatever level or content area you teach. If you get on their list, they will send announcements of upcoming trainings. The federal government’s Doing What Works website looks at best practices and practical ideas for helping students. Watch the videos and access the supplementary materials.

logo_wordAccessible Resources for Teachers and Students

There are many resources that are almost immediately accessible either through the internet or LISD CEMaT. These range from Best Practices for Teachers to dictionaries and bi-lingual books for students.