District - 1:1 Classroom

Printer Friendly Page
Bismarck Public Schools - Link Home
Students Parents Schools Employees Visitors
  you are here:   Home  >>  English Language Learner Program  >>  PLAN  >>  Definitions

***Definitions taken from the book, Managing ESL Programs in Rural and Small Urban Schools by Barney Berube.

Anecdotal records: Used as a component of authentic assessments, these arc observations of a student's behavior through learning activities, social interaction, and work habits.

Authentic assessment: An integrative and comprehensive approach for collecting demographic, outcome, and process data on LEP student learning, particularly as the information relates to the student's acquisition of English and academic subject mastery.

Basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS): A component of second language proficiency that usually occurs on an informal level that precedes the more complex skills of cognitive academic language proficiency. If only an oral assessment of a student's skills is taken, the student may appear proficient according to SICS. BICS are less abstract and more concrete than the more demanding cognitive academic language proficiency skills (CALPS). BICS can be acquired in less than 2 years: CALPS require 4-1 0 years.

Bilingual education: A program of instruction that uses more than one language as he medium of illustration.
Bilingualism: The ability to communicate in two languages. A balanced bilingual is one who can use both languages equally well. Most bilingual persons prefer on language to the other, depending on the context of the communication.

Cognitive academic language earning approach (CALLA): Developed by Chamot and O'Mally (1987), CALLA is an intermediate and advanced transition program that permits post elementary LEP students to acquire greater English fluency and content-area mastery by teaching them unique learning strategies.

Cognitive academic language proficiency skills (CALPS): A component of second language proficiency that occurs at the complex higher language acquisition level after the simpler, basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS). According to Collier (1995b), it may take at least 4 and as many as [0 years for an LEP student to reach national grade-level norms of native English speakers in all subject areas of language and academic achievement as measured on standardized tests. The span of time for acquiring CALPS is directly influenced by factors such as (a) age at arrival in a second language culture, (b) amount of uninterrupted schooling in the heritage language, and (c) length of residence.

Content ESL: An approach to second language teaching that utilizes content area subject matter to teach language. With contextualized and understandable concepts attached to content-area school subjects, the second language acquisition process is enhanced through content ESL. Concepts and vocabulary may be set at a lower academic level to target the student's level of English pr01iciency. This approach helps the second language learner maintain the cognitive structures that may have already been developed in the native language. The ESL teacher usually pursues this approach.

English as a second language (ESL): An instructional approach whereby LEP students are placed in regular English-only instruction for most of the day. During part of the day, however, these students receive extra instruction in English. This extra help is based on a curriculum designed almost solely to teach English as a second language. The non-English home language may sometimes be used in conjunction with ESL instruction.

ESL pullout: Through this kind of instruction, services to LEP children are provided in isolation from the regular curriculum and the mainstream classroom. Instruction is typically one-on-one or in very small groups offered for almost 40 minutes daily. It is the least effective approach short or submersion (which is illegal).

Home language survey: A simple form, administered by school systems, to determine language spoken at home by a student. Such surveys are often in English and another language. The survey by itself does not determine English proficiency.

Individual accommodation plan: A process used to define the special language service needs of LEP students. Each student has such a plan developed for him or her. Such a process is analogous to the individual education plan (IEP) developed for students with disabilities.

Itinerant ESL: In this type of instruction, one or two periods of English language instruction is given on a "pull out basis by a teacher who travels to more than one school each day.

Language support committee (LSC): A group of building or district-level educators whose responsibilities are outlined in the district's Lou plan. The committee is generally charged with the task of ensuring that all LEP students are served according to district policy, consistent with state and federal statute.

Language dominance: The language in which a person is most fluent or most comfortable. Dominance can be determined through testing. It is not unusual to have one language dominant in certain situations and the other language dominant in other situations.

Language minority students: Students whose primary or home language is other than English.

Language process file (LPF): A tool (e.g., a portfolio) for recording the progress an LEP student is making in academic performance as well as in acquisition of English. The ESL teacher maintains the LPF.

Language proficiency: Language fluency skills acquired in one or more languages.

Lau Plan: An equal access plan and policy targeted for language minority youth of a given school district. The plan includes identification of LEP students, an academic program plan for them, and criteria for their ultimate exit from a language support program.

Limited English proficiency (LEP): A descriptor for one who comes from a non-English language background and whose language skills limit that person's ability to function successfully in an all-English classroom. An LEP student is not fluent in all communicative skill areas of English speaking, listening, writing, or reading and cannot compete with peers in an English-only academic setting.

Limited English-speaking ability (LESA): Students with a primary language other than English who have difficulty with speaking English.

Native Language: The language normally used by an individual, the family, or both at home. Also referred to as the heritage or first language.

Office of Civil Rights (OCR): The civil rights enforcement arm of the U.S. Department o f Education, which is charged with enforcing federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, and age in services, programs, or activities receiving federal assistance. Through complaint investigations, compliance reviews, and technical assistance, the OCR oversees the education of LEP students in public schools across the United States.

Oral Language proficiency tests: Oral language proficiency tests measure how well a student is functioning specific to language. Measurement of oral proficiency ranges from informal measures to commercial tests that cover language acquisition skills, ranging from those necessary for conducting basic interpersonal communications to those required for conducting complex activities.

Primary language: The first language the student acquired and which he or she normally uses; generally but not always, the language usually used by the parents of the students. This is frequently referred to as the heritage language.

Proficiency: Proficiency in conversational English is that which is well developed by native speakers by the time they reach school and is used informally for interpersonal relations. This level of proficiency may not be sufficient to allow LEP students to excel in school subjects. The kind of English proficiency that does relate with school achievement can be referred to as academic English. This is the kind of language skill required for literacy skills, such as decoding meaning from context, study skills, writing mechanics, and vocabulary development. This kind of proficiency is most often-measured on norm or criterion-referenced tests of language, reading, writing, and mathematics.

Sheltered English: This approach utilizes the simplification of" the English language to teacher ESL and subject-area content simultaneously. Sheltered English permits LEP students to acquire state and local standards in comprehensible English. The actual content is the same as that taught to mainstream non-LEP students (not watered down), although key concepts and vocabulary arc at a lower academic level, targeted to fit the ESL student's proficiency level in the English language. Sheltered English may be loosely referred to as content ESL.

Qualified ESL personnel: Individuals who have received special training in English language methodology and linguistics with attention to all four communicative language skills -listening, speaking reading, and writing. In many states, ESL licensures (certification and endorsements) determine such credentials.

Rubrics: Often used in conducting authentic assessments, these are fixed scales used to describe what an LEP student can or cannot do. A continuum of four benchmarks is commonly used as a checklist of data on student performance outcomes.

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: Passed by Congress, this law prohibits discrimination in education all the basis of race, color, sex, and national origin. The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education is the enforcement agency for implementation of this law that protects LEP students based on their national origin of race.

Tutorial program: Students in a tutorial program receive one-on-one and small group instruction in English and regular subjects, usually by a paraprofessional. A tutorial program may also be done bilingually. If conducted by unqualified staff, by student peers, or not done as part of an organized system of instruction it may not pass legal sufficiency by the Office for Civil Rights.

Bismarck Public Schools - link to district home