English Language Acquisition

World with Hands Surrounding  
Welcome to the Litchfield Elementary School District's English Language Acquisition Program
Jennifer Larson 
English Language Acquisition Specialist 
(623) 535-6072

The goals of the English Language Acquisition Program are:

  • To provide an academic setting that accelerates the acquisition of English
  • To increase language proficiency and ensure the attainment of academic standards
  • To facilitate communication between the home and school
What is ELD?
The content of English language acquisition instruction includes pronunciation (phonology), word building blocks (morphology), word order (syntax), and vocabulary (lexicon and semantics) of the English language. These elements are foundational for proficiency in: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. 

Identification of Students 
When a student is enrolled in school, parents must complete a Primary Home Language Survey that indicates a student's primary language. If a student's primary language is NOT English, then he or she is assessed to determine his or her proficiency level in English.  A student's English proficiency level is measured using the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA).  If the results of the assessment indicate that the student is NOT proficient in English, then he or she qualifies for EL services. If a student tests proficient on the AZELLA, he or she will be placed in a mainstream classroom. 
AZELLA stands for Arizona English Learner Assessment.  The AZELLA measure the English proficiency of students who have a primary home language other than English. The assessment is aligned to the English Language Proficiency (ELP) standards. The AZELLA determines a proficiency level of Pre-Emergent, Emergent, Basic, Intermediate, Proficient.  


AZELLA Proficiency Levels
Proficiency Levels Characteristics in Reading, Writing and Speaking
Pre-Emergent Student does not understand enough language to perform in English.
Emergent Student understands and can speak a few isolated English words.

Student may understand slower speech, and speak, read and write simple words and phrases, but often makes mistakes.

Intermediate Student can understand familiar topics and is somewhat fluent in English, but has difficulty with academic conversations.
Proficient Student can read and understand texts and conversations at a normal speed, and can speak and write fluently with minor errors.


The Litchfield Elementary School District offers two program options for English Learners:

  1. Structured English Immersion (SEI)
  2. Individual Language Learner Plan (ILLP) in a mainstream classroom


Structured English Immersion (SEI)

The Structured English Immersion (SEI) classroom is designed to teach English to students who are not proficient in the English language. The class structure consists of:

  • English as the language of instruction.
  • Students receiving four (4) hours of English Language Development daily in Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary and Grammar.
  • Materials in English.
  • Students grouped by language proficiency level.
  • Students taught by highly-qualified teachers.
  • Students taught English at an accelerated rate.


ILLP (Individual Language Learner Plan)

The ILLP (Individual Language Learner Plan) is used at schools with low numbers of EL students. The ILLP is the written plan in the mainstream classroom that specifies what happens, instructionally, for an English learner (EL). This plan documents the necessary four hours of English instruction the ELL student is receiving daily from a highly qualified teacher. The use of the ILLP will necessitate a commitment on the part of the administration and the teachers of the EL student on an ILLP. The English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards and Performance Indicators will be used in the instruction of ELs on an ILLP.


Arizona English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards

The Arizona English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards provide a foundation for English language acquisition and the academic development of students who are identified as English Learners. The goal of these standards is to establish criteria to support students who are learning English as an additional language. The ELP Standards present a linguistic foundation in English that will provide English language learners with the skills, abilities, and knowledge to access content information in math, science, and social studies.


What Happens When My Student Becomes Proficient?

When a student scores “Proficient” on the Arizona English Learner assessment, (AZELLA), he or she has attained the English language proficiency level necessary to be exited from the English Learner program. You will receive a reclassification letter from the school advising you that your student is proficient and has exited the EL program. The student will be monitored for two (2) years following his or her exit from the EL program to ensure continued academic success. 


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