English as a Second Language
The purpose of the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program is to ensure that "English learners (ELs), including immigrant children and youth, attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic achievement in English" and "assist all English learners, including immigrant children and youth, to achieve at high levels in academic subjects so that all English learners can meet the same challenging State academic standards that all children are expected to meet (English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act, SEC. 3102. [20 U.S.C. 6812] of the Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015).
ESL services are available to any student who is enrolled in a Cumberland County school (grades K-12) who has been assessed and identified as an English Learner (EL). ESL services are provided according to the Cumberland County Schools' Language Instruction Education Plan (LIEP) submitted annually to the NC Department of Public Instruction, Title III/ESL Services.
English Learner students are mainstreamed in their regular classes grades K-8 most of the school day. ESL instruction is provided using the “pull-out” instructional model in grades K-8 and for one elective class daily in grades 9-12. Differentiated instruction that promotes English language development (ELD) allows the ESL teacher to create the best learning experiences possible and is essential in meeting the individual language and academic needs of EL students. State-adopted textbooks and a variety of resources for English language development are available to EL students. ESL teachers generate and maintain an English Learner Plan (EL Plan) for all identified EL students as well as monitor students' academic performance and achievement in mainstream classrooms. EL Plans are modified each school year (K-8) and by semester (grades 9-12) based on input from classroom teachers and the district/school's ESL committee. EL Plans outline relevant expectations for academic performance according to a student's current English language proficiency (ELP), eligible accommodations on state and local assessment, ELD instructional goals and "EL Progress" goals the student is expected to achieve on the state annual English language proficiency test (ACCESS 2.0). The EL Plan also provides classroom teachers with recommendations for differentiating instructing for the EL student and descriptions of EL students' abilities in terms of English language comprehension and production in a given language development skill (reading, writing, listening and speaking).
WIDA/NC ELD Standards (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) - language development educational consortium
ESL teachers use the WIDA English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards adopted by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction in June 2008 to plan for and deliver instruction and assess ELD progress. The WIDA/NC ELD Standards are:
-Standard 1 – Social and Instructional Language
English language learners communicate for social and instructional purposes within the school setting.
-Standard 2 – Language of Language Arts
English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of language arts.
Standard 3 – Language of Mathematics
English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of mathematics.
Standard 4 – Language of Science
English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of science
Standard 5 – Language of Social Studies
English language learners communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of social studies.
The WIDA/NC ELD Standards also assist classroom teachers in modifying instruction in the content areas to match the English language proficiency levels of their EL students. The standards provide a framework for the design of curriculum, instruction, and assessment of EL students.
Each of the five English language proficiency standards encompasses four language domains – Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. There are six levels of English language proficiency within each language domain that a student can attain: 1 – Entering; 2 – Emerging; 3 – Developing; 4 – Expanding; 5 – Bridging; and, 6 - Reaching.
Further information regarding the WIDA/NC ELD Standards may be accessed by going to WIDA ELs Standards
Who Is Identified as an English Learner?
All students complete a Language Survey card when enrolled in NC Schools. If a language other than English is listed, the card is sent to the ESL Department for possible English language screening. The ESL department conducts parent interviews as needed to determine the English language abilities of the student and the need to be screened for ESL services.
To qualify as an English Learner and receive ESL services, Kindergarteners who score below 27 on the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) in Listening and in Speaking are identified as ELs. First graders who score below 27 on the W-APT Listening and Speaking and score below 14 in Reading and score below 17 in Writing are identified as ELs. Students in grades 2-12 who score below level 5- Bridging in at least one language domain or below level 5 in the composite score of the WIDA Screener are identified as English Learners.
Once a student has been screened and is identified as an EL, the parent receives a notification and is contacted by the ESL teacher designated to the child’s school, as needed. The ESL Program is explained to the parent and, if the parent agrees to ESL services, the student is scheduled for ESL services according to the district's LIEP. If a parent chooses to waiver a type of ESL service for the students, a "waiver" will need to be signed and dated. The “waiver” will state why the parent declined a type of ESL service for his/her child. The child will not receive direct ESL services and will remain in his/her mainstream classes. The student will remain identified as an EL, however, until he/she meets the criteria for exiting the ESL Program, as set by the North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction on the state Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) ELD assessment (ACCESS), administered annually to all identified ELs in North Carolina in the spring.
For further information on the English as a Second Language program for Cumberland County Schools, please contact the ESL Office at 910- 484-1176.