English as a Second Language (ESL)
To assist students who are not native speakers, Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 has established the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. It is designed to develop the students English proficiency, providing them with both the skills and confidence they need to participate fully in school and the community. The ESL program is supported by a grant from the Illinois State Board of Education.
All K-12 English language learners must be assessed annually for English proficiency growth (Title III) and academic progress (Title I). Beginning in FY 2005-06, the Illinois State Board of Education provided districts with a language proficiency assessment for all English Language Learner (ELL) students, called ACCESS for ELLs™. NCLB regulations require this new English language proficiency test to be administered to all Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.
The Illinois State Board of Education also made available to all districts the W-APT (the Screener) , which is an assessment tool available year-round to district staff to identify English Language Learners for the purpose of program placement. As a district with a TPI/TBE and LIP/LEP program, our staff has been trained on the English Language Proficiency Standards, the ACCESS for ELLs™ assessment, and the W-APT.
W-APT (the Screener)
The Screener is the assessment tool that districts will now use to identify new students as LEP.
Under the Illinois School Code, all students whose parents have indicated on a Home Language Survey (HLS) that a language other than English is spoken in the home or by the student, must take an English language proficiency test to determine program placement.
Students who are assessed with the Screener for placement will also be required to participate in the ACCESS for ELLs™ annual assessment.
Step 1: Home Language Survey
Step 2: Request for TPI Testing form/Interview Student, Parent
Step 3: Access Screener/Educational History
Step 4: Eligibility Determination
Our ELL/ESL teachers and paraprofessionals work in collaboration with the classroom teachers to effectively teach English Language Learners. Elementary ELL students participate in mainstream classes as well as scheduled ESL instruction based on each student’s proficiency level and grade level. Small group instruction is provided by the ESL teacher or paraprofessional and is designed to develop listening, speaking, writing and reading skills in English.
Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC)
The Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee (BPAC) consists of parents/guardians of students enrolled in the bilingual or English as a Second Language (ESL) program, bilingual and ESL teachers, administrators and community leaders.
The committee participates in the planning, operation and evaluation of the Transitional Bilingual and ESL programs. In addition, important topics relating to education, the district and the community are shared.
Bilingual parents, staff representatives, and community members are encouraged to attend the meetings. Refreshments will be served and supervision will be provided for children age 3 and older.