Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why does my child need English learner (EL) services?
    EL / Bilingual services are important to supporting the student in their regular classes in English. This support helps the student’s acquisition of academic English in the areas of math, science, social studies, and language arts, which is important for continued academic achievement. EL / Bilingual services are provided through a pull-out and push-in model. 

  2. How do I know if my child needs EL / Bilingual services?
    Every child who enrolls for the first time in District 146 is given a Home Language Survey. If the parent notes that the family speaks a language other than English at home, or that the child speaks a language other than English, we will assess the child’s English language proficiency with a screening test. If the results of this test show that the child needs English Learner services, he/she will be placed in a program.

  3. My child speaks English very well; he/she talks to friends all the time in English, and watches TV and movies in English, so why does he/she still need EL services?
    Your child may speak English very well in certain types of social situations, but may need additional support in order to learn academic vocabulary needed for reading and writing in English at advanced levels. Academic English takes much more time to acquire and master than social language. For this reason we strongly encourage parents to keep their children in EL / Bilingual programming until they no longer need services as determined by yearly ACCESS testing.

  4. What is the ACCESS test?
    The ACCESS test is an English language proficiency assessment given to Kindergarten through 12th graders who have been identified as English Learners (ELs). It is given annually in January and February to monitor students' progress in acquiring academic English. Based on the results of this assessment your child will be assigned an English proficiency level. That level will be used to determine what EL / Bilingual support services your child needs or they will be exited from the ELL / Bilingual program. You will receive a copy of your child's ACCESS scores each year. See the Assessment and Testing page for more information.

  5. How long will it take to exit from EL / Bilingual services?
    It is difficult to predict how long a student will take in order to reach English proficiency. Research shows that it may take from 5 to 10 years, depending on the child. Every student is different and will progress at different rates.

  6. Can my child receive Special Education and EL / Bilingual services at the same time?
    Yes.  All special education students who are also eligible for EL / Bilingual services receive both as mandated by state and federal law. For more information, please see the Dual Eligibility page.

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