Initial Identification

Learning Support Services

 English Language Learner Program (ELL)

Christine Cloutier, ELL Program Coordinator 
ccloutier@powayusd.com 
(858) 521-2748

INITIAL IDENTIFICATION


What is “identification?”
In the Poway Unified School District (PUSD), students are “identified” for a variety of extra services, such as “identification” for our gifted program, or “identification” for English learner services.  English learner (EL) identification focuses on the students who have a language other than English in the home.  Through our state-required testing program, we determine which of these students would benefit from extra assistance in developing their social and academic English.

 

How are newly-enrolling students identified as English learners?
Newly-enrolling students who have a home language other than English, based on the Home Language Survey, are given the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) to determine their level of English proficiency.  (See information on the CELDT below.)  [State: Education Code sections 313 (a, b, c) and 52164.1 (a, b); Federal: Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)]

 

Newly-enrolling students in grades K-1 who score at the Beginning (Level 1), Early Intermediate (Level 2), or Intermediate (Level 3) level on the Listening or Speaking section of the CELDT, or as their Overall score are identified as English Learners (EL). 

 

Newly-enrolling students in grades K-1 who score at the Early Advanced (Level 4) or Advanced (Level 5) level on the Listening and Speaking sections of the CELDT and as their Overall score will often be identified as Fluent English Proficient and will not be part of the English Learner Program.  However, teacher input, Reading and Writing CELDT scores, etc. may indicate the need for the student to be identified as an English Learner.

 

Newly-enrolling students in grades 2-12 who score at the Beginning (Level 1), Early Intermediate (Level 2), or Intermediate (Level 3) level on any part of the CELDT are identified as English learners (EL).  (See information on the CELDT below.)  Students in grades 2-12 who score at the Early Advanced (Level 4) or Advanced (Level 5) level on all parts of the CELDT are generally identified as Fluent English Proficient (FEP) and will not be part of the English Learner Program. 

What is the California English Language Development Test (CELDT)?
The CELDT is the test that the State of California requires public school districts to use to assess the English language proficiency of students who have a language in the home other than English.  CELDT is not an achievement test – it just lets us know where the student is in the process of learning English.  The CELDT is used to:

  • initially determine the English language proficiency of all newly-enrolling students who have a language other than English in their home
  • monitor the progress of our English learners in acquiring English (once each year)
  • help determine if an English learner is ready to be reclassified out of the English Learner Program

 

What does the CELDT assess?
At all grade levels, the CELDT has four sections:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing 

 

What scores does a student receive on the CELDT?
Students receive a score for each section, as well as an Overall score.  Scores on each section are reported both as a scale score and as a proficiency level.  The five proficiency levels are:

  • Beginning (Level 1)
  • Early Intermediate (Level 2)
  • Intermediate (Level 3)
  • Early Advanced (Level 4)
  • Advanced (Level 5)

 

(Descriptions of the CELDT levels may be found at http://www.celdt.org/resources/im.)  In grades 2-12, all four sections of the test are weighted equally to come up with an Overall score.  At grades K-1, 90% of the Overall score is determined by the Listening and Speaking scores; only 10% is determined by the Reading and Writing scores. 

 

How is the CELDT administered?
Some parts of the test are group administered, and some parts are administered individually.  At grades K-1, the entire test is administered one-on-one.  All testers are district employees who attend special training each year. 

 

Who scores the CELDT tests?
For newly-enrolling students, the tests are hand-scored at the school to determine the correct program placement for the student.  The tests are then submitted to the testing company for official scoring. The tests for our continuing EL students are generally scored only by the testing company.

How do parents receive notification of their student’s scores on the CELDT?
For newly-enrolling students, the school will send the preliminary hand scores to the parents, along with information on the student’s instructional placement.  Parents will receive their child’s official scores through the mail after we receive them from the testing company.  For our continuing English Learners, parents will receive the scores through the mail as soon as we receive them back from the testing company.

 

How often does the student take the CELDT?
Once a student has been identified as an English learner using the CELDT, the state requires that they continue to take the test once each year until they meet the district’s reclassification criteria. 

 

Can parents “opt” their child out of CELDT testing?
The state law (Ed. Code 313) does not make any allowances for parents to opt their child out of CELDT testing, so parent opt-outs are not allowed.  Some schools offer Summer CELDT testing to avoid having their child pulled out of class to take the CELDT.

 

Why are English learners tested in their home language?
When a student is first identified as an English learner, we test them in their home language (one time), if an interpreter is available to administer the test.  We test the students in Listening and Speaking (grades K-12), as well as Reading and Writing (grades 2-12).  This testing helps us to identify the language skills that the students bring with them.  These language skills can actually help the students as they learn English.  For example, a student will learn to read in English more quickly if they can already read in another language, even if that language is very different from English.  The results of the Primary Language Testing will be sent home to the parents.

 

The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived ancestry, age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact the Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128-3406, 858-521-2800, extension 2761. View Annual Notification of Parents’/Students’ Rights | Annual Notification of Employees’ Rights

POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 521-2800