Lake Elsinore Unified School District

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English Learner Program (EL) » Glossary of EL Terms

Glossary of EL Terms

ACRONYMS used in English Learner Program

BCLAD: Bilingual Cross-Cultural Language & Academic Development
CABE: California Association for Bilingual Education
DELAC: District English Learner Advisory Committee
EL: English Learner
ELAC: English Learner Advisory Committee
ELPAC: English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (replaced CELDT)
FEP: Fluent English Proficient
LEP: Limited English Proficient
PTA: Parent Teacher (Student) Association
SSC: School Site Council

Glossary of Common Terms Used in EL Programs

Academic Language - Language used in the teaching and learning of academic subject matter in formal schooling. This type of language is strongly associated with literacy and academic achievement and includes specific academic terms or technical language related to a field of study (CDE 1999).


Achievement Test - A test that measures the extent of a student's learning of the material presented in a particular course, textbook, or in an instructional program (Henning 1987).


Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis - Language acquisition is a subconscious process. People often are not aware that they are acquiring a language while they are doing so they are aware of using language for some communicative process. They are often not aware of what they have acquired; they usually cannot describe or talk about the rules they have acquired but have a "feel" for the language.


Additive Bilingualism - A process by which individuals develop proficiency in a second language subsequent to or simultaneous with the development of proficiency in the primary language.


Affective Filter - A construct that refers to the effects of personality, motivation, and other affective variables on second language acquisition. These variables interact with each other and with other factors to raise or lower the affective filter. It is hypothesized that when the filter is high, the L2 acquirer is not able to adequately process comprehensible input. The lower the anxiety levels, the lower the filter. Since low anxiety is key to second language acquisition, it is important to lower anxiety, raising self-esteem and motivating students to learn.


Alternate Day - In this approach, the teacher uses English only as the vehicle for instruction one day and L1 only for the next day's instruction. Students are grouped by language as well as by grade.


Approach - A term applied to a complex set of instructions about what and how to teach. The primary aim of an approach is to combine a series of methods and techniques in to a system. An approach may also be referred to as a teaching strategy.


Audio-Lingual Method - Language learning is accomplished by learning a set of patterns or dialogues, practicing and substituting parts. The teacher models and students repeat. The emphasis is on rote learning and drills.


Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS) - A construct developed by Jim Cummins to refer to aspects of language proficiency associated with the basic communicative fluency achieved by all normal native speakers of a language. BICS are not highly correlated with literacy and academic achievement. Cummins has further refined this notion in terms of cognitively undemanding contextualized language.


Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program - [the name has been changed to Colloquium from BTSA] A program that began in 1992 with the passage of SB 1422. The program identifies each new teacher's strengths and areas for growth through an assessment process. Using the assessment results, the beginning teacher and support provider design an Individual Induction Plan to improve the new teacher's skills (COE 1999).


Bias (in testing) - Refers to the non-random distribution of measurement error. Bias usually results in an unfair advantage for one or more groups of individuals over othergroups taking the same test (Hinning 1987).


Bilingual education/native language instruction - A language acquisition process for pupils in which much or all instruction, textbooks, and teaching materials are in the child's native language. (EC 306 [e]) An organized curriculum that includes L1 development and L2 acquisition.


Bilingual Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) Authorization - Enables a teacher to provide instruction for English Language Development (ELD/ESL), Specially Designed Academic lns1ruction in English (SDAIE), and academic instruction, delivered in the language of emphasis, in the subject/s and at the levels authorized by their base credentials (CTC 1992).


Bilingual Paraeducator - An instructional assistant fluent in both in English and the primary language of pupil(s) of limited English proficiency in the English Language Learner Program. Such an assistant will also be familiar with the cultural heritage of the LEP pupils in the class to which he/she is assigned.


Bilingual Teacher Training Program (BITP) - Established by the Legislature in 1980 to assist school districts in developing and providing specialized staff development to teachers serving English learners. The program's purpose is to prepare teachers in methods that accelerate English acquisition and the academic development of English Learners.


Biliterate - An individual who is literate in two languages; that is a person who can speak, read and write in two languages with native or near native ability.


Children who already know English - The child already possesses good English language skills, as measured by standardized tests of English vocabulary comprehension, reading, and writing, in which the child scores at or above the state average for his or her grade level or at or above the 5th grade average, whichever is lower. A parental exception waiver from enrollment in a sheltered English immersion classroom may be granted. (EC 311 [a])


Children with special needs - The child already has been placed for a period of not less than thirty days during the school year in an English language classroom and it is subsequently the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that the child has such special physical, emotional, psychological, or educational needs that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the child's overall educational development. A written description of these special needs must be provided and any such decision is to be made subject to the examination and approval of the local school superintendent, under guidelines established by and subject to the review of the local Board of Education and ultimately the State Board of Education. The existence of such special needs shall not compel issuance of a waiver, and the parents shall be fully informed of their right to refuse to agree to a waiver. (EC 311 [c])


Code Switching - The alternation between languages, between varieties of a single language or between features within a single variety.


Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA) - Provides explicit teaching of learning strategies within academic subject areas. Its purpose is to enrich the language that students may use for academic communication while furthering their ability to comprehend the language and discourse of different subject areas.


Cognitive/Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) - A construct proposed by James Cummins to refer to aspects of language proficiency related to literacy and academic achievement. Cummins bas further refined this notion in terms of cognitively demanding decontextualized language.


Communicative-Based ELD/ESL - A second language instructional approach in which the goals, teaching methods and techniques, and assessments of student progress are all based on behavioral objectives defined in terms of abilities to communicate messages in the target language. In communicative-based ELD, the focus is on language function and use and not on language form and usage. Examples of communicative-based approaches are Suggestopedia, Natural Language and Community Language Learning.


Comprehensible Input - A construct developed to describe understandable and meaningful language directed at L2 acquirers under optimal conditions. Comprehensible L2 input is characterized as language which the L2 acquirer already knows (i) plus a range of new language (i + 1), which is made comprehensible in formal schooling contexts by the use of certain planned strategies.


Concurrent Method - Concepts are explained or taught in one language and then immediately in the other language.


Content-based ELD - Features the use of content area materials as texts for ELD. Contrastive Analyses - The systematic comparison of the structure of one language with another. Contrastive analysis has pedagogical implications to the extent that the teacher attempts to predict or explain errors in L2 with reference to its structural differences with LI.


Coordinated Compliance Review (CCR) - Process used by the California Department of Education to monitor compliance of all federal and state legal requirements.


Cooperative Learning - The structure of the classroom is changed so that instead of students listening mainly to the teacher, students interact in small groups and learn from each other.


Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP) - Experience with either L1 or L2 can promote development of the common proficiency underlying both languages.


Content-based ESL - A teaching approach used to develop English-language proficiency through concepts and themes from various subject areas. There are several reasons for incorporating content in ESL instruction. First, content allows students to acquire important knowledge in different subjects. Second, students can practice the language functions and skills needed to understand, discuss, read and write about the concepts developed (Chamot and O'Malley 1994).


Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development (CLAD) Authorization - Enables a teacher to provide instruction for English Language Development (ELD/ESL) and for Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) as authorized by their base credential/s (CTC 1992).


Culture - A complex combination of characteristics of a given people or nation that distinguishes one population group from other groups. Culture is ideas, habits, values, attitudes and institutions. It possesses physical and material aspects of technology and economics. An integral part of culture involves the arts, folklore, music, drama and dance. The language of a culture represents the symbolism of abstract thought.


Discrete-point test - A subtest in each language skill area that tests only one item at a time.


Dual immersion - A teaching approach that is also known as two-way language development. The full-time program uses English and one other language for instruction. The goal is high levels of language and academic proficiency in two languages.


Eclectic - Eclectic means a combination. No single method can be used to meet the diverse needs of a given group of students. Teachers may use combined features of different methods in a variety of ways supplementing them with the use of original or adapted techniques and activities.


English language classroom - A classroom in which the language of instruction used by the teaching personnel is overwhelmingly in the English language, and in which such teaching personnel possess a good knowledge of the English language. (EC 306 [b])


English Language Development (ELD)/ESL - A program which provides a prescriptive English language program that systematically develops a pupil's listening, speaking and writing skills, knowledge of linguistic and grammatical structure leading to proficiency in speaking, reading and writing English. The prescriptive English program shall be based on the diagnosis of a pupil's language skills. At the secondary level shall be conducted as an integral instructional program of English curriculum for not less than one full period a day or its equivalent for the purpose of providing pupils with minimum English language. (EC 52163 4 [d])


English Language Mainstream Classroom - A classroom in which the pupils either are native English speakers or already have acquired reasonable fluency in English. (EC306b[c])


English Learner (EL) - A child who does not speak English or whose native language is not English and who is not currently able to perform ordinary classroom work in English, also known as Limited English Proficiency or LEP child. (EC 306 [a])


English Only (EO) - A pupil who scores at the lowest level of a designated oral language proficiency assessment instrument based on his/her primary language skills ... [who, after further assessment] ... shows no primary language proficiency, and the parent concurs, need not be considered LEP. - A pupil whose Home Language Survey lists only the English language.


Fluent English Proficient (FEP) - Pupils whose English proficiency is comparable to that of the majority of pupils of the same age or grade, whose primary language is English. (EC 52163)


Glossing - Technique in which teachers in different content areas plan their daily lessons as usual, but in addition, prepare a list of difficult vocabulary items or idioms used in each particular lesson and define the items in simple language. All students receive the lists and a brief discussion of the new terminologies precedes actual lessons.


Grammar-Based ELD/ESL - A second language instructional approach in which the goals, teaching methods and techniques, and assessments of student progress are all based on behavioral objectives defined in terms of abilities to produce grammatically correct utterances in the target language. In grammar-based ELD, the focus is on language form and usage and not on language function and use. Examples of instructional approaches are Grammar-Translation, Audiolingualism and Cognitive Code.


Grammar Translation Method - Uses vocabulary lists with native language equivalents or translations and involves explanations and descriptions of grammar in the student's first language. Practice through reading and translation exercises is also provided.


High Intensity Language Training (HILT) - The original model project was instituted to develop understanding of the cultural mores and values of the Mexican American people and the Spanish language. It was offered to non-Spanish speaking Teacher Corps interns and team leaders from many parts of the nation who would be working with Spanish-speaking children and their parents.


Home Language Survey (HLS) - Upon enrolling children in California public schools, parents are asked to complete a Home Language Survey for their child. The survey asks the following questions: (1) Which language did your son or daughter learn when he or she first began to talk? (2) What language does your son or daughter most frequently use at home? (3) What language do you use most frequently to speak to your son or daughter?

(4) Name the language most often spoken by the adults at home.


Immersion Classes - Subject matter class periods delivered in L2 in which teachers homogeneously group L2 acquirers, speak as a native speaker to non-native speakers and provide comprehensible second language input.


Immersion Program - An organized curriculum that includes L 1 development, L2 acquisition and subject matter development through L2. Immersion programs are developed and managed so that students may develop proficient bilingualism.


Initial FEP (IFEP) - A pupil who has a language other than English listed on their Home Language Survey that meets the criteria to be classified as FEP the first/initial time they are assessed.


Interpersonal language skills - The skills that enable learners to carry out everyday interactions in the classroom to argue, question, give opinions, challenge, and display what they know (National Standards in Education Project 1996).


Interpretive language skills - The skills necessary to comprehend written and oral language in various circumstances.

Language Appraisal Team (LAT) - A group of professionals who meet to review an English Learner's educational history in order to recommend the most beneficial program placement. The team is usually composed of the student's classroom and/or ELD teacher, English Learner specialist and the school's principal or designee.


Language Dominance - An individual's degree of bilingualism; that is, the relative proficiency of the individual's language competence with respect to more than one language.


Language Experience - The student shares some script or idea. The teacher writes it down exactly as the student says it. The student then learns the script. This promotes literacy and generates vocabulary that is of interest to the student. The teacher is a facilitator and must be fluent in L 1 and L2.


Language Proficiency - The degree to which an individual exhibits control in the use of a language including phonological, syntactic, lexical and semantic systems, as well as discourse and stylistic rules for oral and written communication.


Lexicon - The inventory of words, idioms, and bound morphemes that the speakers of a language share.


Limited Bilingualism - A level of bilingualism at which individuals attain less than native-like proficiency in both L1 and L2.


Limited English Proficient (LEP) - Pupils who do not have clearly developed English language skills to receive instruction only in English at a level substantially equivalent to pupils of the same age or grade whose primary language is English. (EC 52163)


Linguistics - The systematic study of language. Major subdisciplines include phonology, syntax, semantics and historical linguistics.


Maintenance Program - A program of dual language instruction for English Language Learners designed to support and encourage learning in two languages and to develop proficiency in both languages.


Method - A systematic way of presenting material for instruction. A method may be incorporated into a model or approach, and may consist of several techniques in the teaching/learning effort.


Model - A "package" that spells out the approach, process, methods, techniques and materials to be used in instruction; and sometimes even the tests to be administered.


Monitor FEP (MFEP) - A student who has achieved the criteria to be reclassified from the English Learner Program to a mainstream program but, will be monitored for success during the first and subsequent years of redesignation.


Monitor Hypothesis - A construct developed to refer to the mechanism by which L2 learners process, store and retrieve conscious language rules.


Morphology - The study of bow words are built. Morphemes may be words, derivational affixes, or inflectional endings.


Natural Approach - Language is meaningful communication. Language learning is accomplished by low anxiety and "comprehensible input." There is an initial period of silence. There are four steps to fluency: (1) comprehension-silent period (2) early production (3) speech emergence (4) intermediate fluency.


Natural Order Hypothesis - Grammatical structures are acquired in a predictable order.


Older children - The child is age 10 years or older, and it is the informed belief of the school principal and educational staff that an alternate course of educational study would be better suited to the child's rapid acquisition of basic English language skills. Under this circumstance a parental exception waiver may be granted. (EC 311 [b])


Partial Bilingualism - A level of bilingualism at which individuals attain native-like proficiency in the full range of understanding, speaking, reading and writing skills in one language but achieve less than native-like skills in some or all of these skills areas in the other language.


Performance Standards - Statements that attempt to specify the quality of student performance at various levels of competency in the subject matter of the content standards. These standards specify how students must demonstrate their knowledge skills and at what level.


Phonology - The study of the way in which speech sounds form patterns.


Pragmatics - The use of language in social contexts.


Presentational language skills - The skills that enable the use of oral and written language for academic purposes.


Preview-Review Method - Each language is used as the medium of instruction. A short introduction of the main concepts of the lesson is given in one language. The lesson is then delivered using the other language. A review of the content of the lesson is presented again using the same language that was used for the lesson introduction.


Primary language (L1) - The native or home language.


Primary-language support - Any use of the primary language enabling students to understand terms and content and directly supporting content instruction in the second language (CDE 1999).


Proficient Bilingualism - A level of bilingualism at which individuals attain native-like proficiency in the full range of understanding, speaking, reading and writing skills in both

L1 and L2.


Psycholinguistics - The study of language as a characteristic human behavior.

Psycholinguistic inquiry focuses especially on patterns of, and attitudes toward, language use and/or acquisition.


Pullout instruction - The removal of students from their regular classrooms for one or more periods a week to attend regularly scheduled classes of ESL instruction in small groups (CDE 1999).


Redesignated FEP (RFEP) - A pupil who, after participating in the English Learner

Program, meets all the criteria to be redesignated fluent English proficient.


Second language (L2) - The language an individual knows or is learning in addition to their native language.


Semantics - The study of the meanings of a language.


Separate Underlying Proficiency (SUP) - Proficiency in L1 is separate from proficiency in English and that there is a direct relationship between exposure to a language and achievement in that language.


Sheltered English Immersion or Structured English Immersion - An English language acquisition process for young children in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English but with the curriculum and presentation designed for children who are learning the language. (EC 306 [d])


Silent Way - Language learning is accomplished by trial and error activities of students relating L2 to L1. Students take the responsibility for learning as they practice in small groups. The teacher models once then is silent and points to charts for pronunciation.


Sociolinguistics - The study of the systematic influences of various social and situational factors on the language structure and linguistic variation. Such factors include socioeconomic class, locals, discourse setting, topic, age, gender, etc.


Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE)/ Sheltered Instruction - The teaching of grade-level subject matter in English in a manner which develops academic concepts in the core curriculum, using a delivery that contextualizes the curriculum and makes input comprehensible.


Split Day - English or the L1 is used by the teacher as the vehicle for instruction in the morning. In the afternoon, all instruction is conducted using the alternate language.


Student Language Profile - A written record, readily available to classroom teachers, that contains the following type of information: (a) Home Language Survey; (b) language oral and written proficiency test results for L 1 and L2; (c) standardized test results; (d) program placement; (e) teacher interviews or observations.


Structured English Immersion - A teaching process in which most of the instruction is conducted in English but is delivered in a curriculum structured so that communication is at a level the student can understand. If necessary, teachers or paraeducators define words or repeat instructions in both English and the student's native language.


Submersion Classes - Subject matter class periods delivered in L1 in which teachers mix native speakers with second language acquirers, speak in a native speaker-to-speaker register and provide L2 acquirers with only minimal amounts of comprehensible second language input.


Submersion Program - An organized curriculum designed for native speakers of a language but often used with language minority students. No special instructional activities focus upon the needs of language minority students. Submersion programs are often referred to as "Sink or Swim" models.


Subtractive Bilingualism - A process by which individuals develop less than native-like

CALP in L1 as a result of improper exposure to L1 and L2 in school.


Suggestopedia - Learning is facilitated in a relaxed, comfortable environment by using all parts of the brain letting subconscious facilitate learning in L2. The teacher reads next in L1 with music in the background.

Syntax - The study of the structure/arrangement of words in phrases, clauses and sentences.


Team Teaching - A model where two teachers, one bilingual and one monolingual work as a team. The monolingual teacher serves as the English language model, and the bilingual teacher serves as the primary language model.


Total Physical Response (TPR) - An approach to second language acquisition where instructors issue commands while modeling actions.


Transitional Bilingual Education Program - An organized curriculum that includes L1 development, L2 acquisition and subject matter development through L 1 and L2. This program is not designed for literacy in two languages. The program's purpose is to facilitate the student's transition to an all-English instructional environment while providing academic instruction in the native language to the extent necessary.


Two Way Immersion Program - Provides an immersion model for English speaking students and students who speak a language other than English. It is a long-term additive bilingual program in which all students learn a second language without compromising their first language.


Validity - The extent to which a test measures the ability or knowledge that it is purported to measure (Henning 1987).