English Language Learners

If a student has a language other than English spoken in the home and has completed the Home Language Survey at enrollment, the student will be assessed for English Language Proficiency. If the student qualifies, he or she is then an EL student. Clinton-Massie educators work closely with parents and other professionals to develop individualized plans, called English Learner Development Plan, for English Language Learners in order to enhance the success of each student. EL students at Clinton-Massie receive research-based instruction by trained educators using the Orton-Gillingham curriculum. 

The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment Screener (OELPAS) is utilized upon a student enrolling at Clinton-Massie. The Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) is the state summative test used to determine an English learner’s proficiency level and to exit from the English language program. The OELPA is aligned to the K-12 English Language Proficiency Standards and is used to meet the federal requirement of an annual assessment of English proficiency measuring listening, reading and writing. The OELPA is required for all English learners in addition to Ohio’s State Tests.

Stages of Second Language Acquisition

Pre-functional – Pre-production or the silent period.  New students just listen.  Some may not speak for weeks or months.  Don’t force them. Some will start using simple learned phrases and simple sentences.

Beginner –Students will develop a vocabulary of about 1000 words; speak in one or two word phrases, memorized chunks and simple sentences.  This may last about 6 months.

High Beginner–Students will develop a vocabulary of about 3000 words, use simple sentences, ask simple questions, read easy stories, and write simple sentences.

Intermediate–Now students have a 6000 word vocabulary, use more complex sentences, and ask questions.  They will still have grammar errors.

Two Types of Language

Bics - Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills
This is social language and develops in 1 – 3 years.  This is the day-to-day language needed to interact with other people.  ELLs use BICS on the playground, in the cafeteria, on the bus.  This language is context based.

CALP - Cognitive Academic language Proficiency
This is academic language and takes 5- 7 years to develop.  There are general academic words and content specific words.  Academic language is context reduced, especially in the upper grades. 

According to Cummins, students who have developed BICS but not CALP do not lack higher order thinking ability; they simply lack the language to succeed in school.  This is especially apparent in the writings of our English Learners who are challenged with conventions of English writing, spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 
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