|What methods are used to identify English language learners?|
|Federal Law||School districts and charter schools must have a system to determine the language(s) spoken in each students home and to objectively identify students who need language support services due to their limited proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding English.|
|Alabama||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Alaska||Districts are responsible for establishing a plan of service, which must include the district's plan of identification of all pupils who are or who may be ELL pupils. The identification plan must include the use of a state-approved assessment for identification of English language proficiency.|
|Arizona||School districts and charters schools use a home language survey for students enrolling in school for the first time. Students with a primary home language other than English are assessed for English proficiency. Students in grades 2-12 are given a written and verbal exam, while kindergarten and first grade students are only given a verbal exam.|
|Arkansas||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
Any pupil whose primary language is other than English, as determined by the home language survey, and who has not previously been identified as an ELL by a California public school or for whom there is no record of results from an administration of an English language proficiency test, must be assessed for English language proficiency with the California English Language Development Test.
School districts are required to survey all students to determine potential eligibility for inclusion in the district's count for allocation under the English Language Proficiency Act. Eligibility is determined by the information provided by parent and teacher checklists approved by the department of education. The parent checklist is completed by the student's parent in grades K-12, and may be completed by the student in grades 9-12. The teacher checklist is completed by the teacher or the appropriate school official and, whenever possible, by a teacher or school official who speaks the language of the student or who is skilled in English language proficiency assessment. In order to avoid duplication of effort, districts already conducting similar identification procedures may, with the approval of the department, use those procedures to fulfill the requirements of state regulation. A student who is able to speak and understand English and one or more other languages, but whose language dominence is difficult to determine, is assessed using instruments and techniques approved by the department.
According to the department of education, the state's ELL programs are governed by state statutes, the department's ELL guidebook and federal law. The department also indicates that relevant policies codified in the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies pertain to a repealed statute and are not followed.
A home language survey is administered as part of the registration process for all registering students. Any student for whom a language other than English is reported must be administered a state department of education approved English language proficiency assessment based on the English Language Proficiency Standards for ELLs K to 12 to assess listening, speaking, reading and writing. The assessment must be conducted by qualified personnel trained in the administration of the assessment instrument. Any student who achieves a score that is lower than the eligibility cut off score in listening, speaking, reading and writing established by the department is identified as an ELL.
|District of Columbia||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
Students are surveyed upon initial registration in a public school. The survey contains the following questions:
Affirmative responses to question 2 or 3, or both, requires that the student be placed in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program until completion of the eligibility assessment. A student for whom the only affirmative response is question 1 does not need to be placed in the ESOL program pending assessment.
Each student who responded “yes” to any question on the home language survey is assessed to determine if the student is limited English proficient. In addition, any student identified by the home language survey who also meets one of the following standards is classified as an ELL and must recieve appropriate instruction and funding:
Prior to entry into a school in Georgia, each student's parent or guardian must complete a home language survey to determine if a language other than English is used in the home or is the student's native language or first language. All students whose native language, first language or language of the home is a language other than English must be assessed for English language proficiency using the state-adopted English proficiency screening measure. Initial eligibility for language assistance services is determined by the student's score. Students who have an English language proficiency score below proficient are determined to be ELLs.
|Hawaii||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Idaho||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
School districts are required to administer, as part of the enrollment process, a home language survey to each student in preK-12 who is entering the district's schools or any of the district's preschool programs for the first time. The survey must include at least the following questions, and the student must be identified as having a language background other than English if the answer to either question is yes:
The prescribed screening instrument does not need to be administered to a student who, in his or her previous school district:
The parent or guardian of any child resident in a school district who has not been identified as an English learner may request the district to determine whether the child should be considered for placement in a bilingual education program, and the school district must make that determination upon request, using the process described above.
|Indiana||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
A school district must use the following criteria:
|Kansas||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Kentucky||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Louisiana||Not specified in state law or administrative regulation|
|Maine||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Maryland||Home language survey and an assessment of English listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills that is considered reliable by the state department of education|
Each school district must establish procedures, in accordance with department of education guidelines, to identify students who may be ELLs and assess their level of English proficiency upon their enrollment in the school district. In addition, the parent or guardian of any student enrolled in the school district may request that the school district assess the child's level of English proficiency.
|Michigan||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Minnesota||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.
|Missouri||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Montana||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Nebraska||School districts use a home language survey and English language proficiency exam for students enrolling in school for the first time. Home language surveys must contain at least three questions specified in state regulations and the department provides a sample survey. Students identified as ELL in another Nebraska school district will maintain that classification and the current school district does not need to administer a home language survey or proficiency exam.|
School districts are required to administer a home language survey as part of the admission process for all kindergarten students and for all other students new to the district. A sample survey is contained in the administrative code. The survey must ask the following questions:
School districts use a home language survey for students enrolling in school for the first time. Local school boards select the questions and how it is administered, but the survey must address at least the following three topics: language first spoken, primary language spoken in the home, and language most spoken by the student other than English.
Students with a primary language other than English receive an English proficiency exam. Students in grades 2-12 receive a verbal and written exam, and students grades K-1 receive only a verbal exam. School districts must also assess the ability of ELLs in grades 2-12 to comprehend, speak, read and write in their primary languages, unless the student’s primary language is not commonly written.
|New Hampshire||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|New Jersey||School districts are responsible for identifying ELLs in grades K-12 with a home language survey, which must be administered by bilingual/ESL certified teachers, and a department-approved language proficiency test. In addition, school districts must maintain a "census" of all students whose native language is not English, including students who live in the district but do not attend a district school.|
|New Mexico||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|New York||Districts must develop a screening process for all newly enrolled students or students with low test scores to determine if the student is of foreign birth or ancestry and comes from a home where a language other than English is spoken. This is determined through a home language questionnaire, an informal interview in English and the native language, and the students' performance on an English proficiency exam. Testing and interviews must be performed by persons trained or qualified in the student's home language.|
Starting in 2015-2016: A student identified as an ELL who has attended schools in the U.S. for fewer than twelve months and is two or more years below grade level due to interrupted or inconsistent schooling will also be identified as a student with inconsistent/interrupted formal education.
|North Carolina||Districts administer a home language survey to every student at the time of enrollment, which is maintained in the student's permanent record. Districts then identify and assess every limited English proficient student. Districts are charged with adopting an effective method of determining the students' current level of English proficiency that may be a combination of the following, unless some other method can be effectively substituted: teacher observations; teacher interview; achievement tests; review of student records; parent information; proficiency tests; English as a second language teacher referral; student course grades; teacher referral or recommendation; criterion-referenced tests; grade retention or deficiency report; informal assessment or screening; portfolio-based assessment; and alternative assessments such as cloze and dictation.|
|North Dakota||The assessment process must follow the North Dakota English language proficiency assessment program and be supervised by a teacher of English as a second language or a bilingual education teacher. A school district may use a screening protocol prior to conducting the assessment. Criteria for the screening protocol may include observation, a checklist, writing samples, and other indicators of language proficiency. The assessment process will result in classification of the student by determining whether the student has preliterate - level I, beginning - level II, intermediate - level III, basic - level IV, or proficient - level V English language skills.|
|Ohio||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Oklahoma||State policy directs the department of education to adopt an English proficiency assessment and directs school districts to screen and identify ELLs. The process is governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Oregon||Districts must develop a plan for identifying students whose primary language is other than English.|
|Pennsylvania||Districts must administer a home language survey to all students enrolling in school for the first time. The process for identifying students as ELLs is governed by the department of education's ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Rhode Island||Districts must use a home language survey developed by the department of education and a department-approved English proficiency assessment. The department-approved assessment is the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test or screener. Tests and screeners must be administered by qualified assessors. The following levels of English proficiency are recognized: entering; beginning; developing; expanding; bridging; and reaching. To assist in program decisions, any student scoring at the developing, expanding, or bridging Level must be given an additional English reading assessment. When possible, a reading assessment in the first language of the student will be given to all ELLs regardless of proficiency level. All available test data from the student's previous schools must be used in the placement process.|
|South Carolina||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|South Dakota||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Tennessee||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Texas||School districts are required to conduct a home language survey of each student who is new to the district or who has not been previously surveyed. The survey contains two questions:
The grade levels and the scores on each test that are used to identify a student as an ELL are established by the department. The commissioner of education is required to review the approved list of tests, grade levels and scores annually and update the list.
|Utah||Local boards of education and charter schools must have a process to find ELLs, including administering a home language survey at student registration and a language proficiency exam. The state board of education must provide an identification and placement procedure model to local boards.|
|Vermont||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|
|Virginia||Local school boards implement programs to identify ELLs.|
|Washington||Local school boards must create procedures for identifying every student's primary language. The procedures must include a home language survey and provisions for testing potential ELLs using a state-approved language proficiency exam.|
|West Virginia||Counties and local boards of education are responsible for screening newly enrolled students to identify ELLs. Identification methods are based on criteria established by the department of education.|
|Wisconsin||School districts must, as part of the enrollment process, use a home language survey and department-approved English proficiency assessment identify as potential ELLs pupils meeting any of the following criteria: pupils who communicate in a language other than English; pupils whose families use a language other than English; or pupils who use a language other than English in daily non-school surroundings. The English language proficiency assessment procedures may include supplemental indicators or data that include any of the following: (1) prior academic records from within or outside the U.S.; (2) course grades that indicate that lack of progress is due to limited English language skills; (3) information on everyday classroom performance.|
|Wyoming||Governed by the department of education’s ELL guidebook or federal law rather than state policy.|