Goddard Public Schools
English Language Learner
Understanding English Language Learner (ELL) Education: Questions and Answers
How can my child receive ELL education?
- When you enroll your child in a public or private school, you will be given a “Home Language Survey” that asks what language or languages are spoken in your home and what language your child speaks most often.
- After you return the language survey, the school will test your child’s ability to understand, speak, read, and write in English. If your child has limited ability to understand, speak, read, or write in English, the school will let you know that he or she qualifies for the ELL program. The school will also explain the methods it will use to teach English to your child.
- Please note that the residency requirement for ELLs is the same as for any other enrolling student, and schools may not ask about immigration status as part of the enrollment process.
Will my child or my family face discrimination for not speaking English?
- Teachers and administrators are trained to be respectful to families from all backgrounds and cultures. The school must make sure that students and families are not mistreated, either by school staff or other students, because of their language, culture, or customs.
Will the school’s ESOL teachers speak my child’s primary language?
- Probably not. ESOL teachers have special training and must be certified to teach ELLs, but they are not required to be bilingual.
- Per your written request; When the school communicates with you about your child, it must provide documents written in your primary language and must provide an interpreter for meetings.
Will my ELL student have an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
- Probably not. ELL status is not considered a learning disability. ELLs who are found to have learning disabilities are entitled to full special education services in addition to ESOL classes.
How much direct English-language instruction will my child receive?
- The amount of direct instruction — called English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) — depends on your child’s current ability to understand, speak, read, and write in English. There are five levels of English proficiency:
- Level 1: Entering
Student has no English skills. Students at this level should receive 2 to 3 hours of ESOL every day.
- Level 2: Emerging
Student has limited listening and speaking skills. Students at this level should receive 2 hours of ESOL every day.
- Level 3: Developing
Student can use simple phrases in speaking and writing. Students at this level should receive 1 to 2 hours of ESOL every day.
- Level 4: Expanding
Student is becoming comfortable with speaking routine English and can understand and express ideas in writing with some errors. Students at this level should receive 1 hour of ESOL every day.
- Level 5: Bridging
Student shows fluent speaking skills and writing skills near grade level. Students at this level should receive up to 1 hour of ESOL or need-based support every day.
- Your child’s English proficiency will be evaluated periodically to make adjustments to his or her specific program.
In addition to ESOL, what other ELL support will the school offer my child?
- The teachers in your child’s academic classes must make sure that he or she is able to understand the subject material being taught (such as math, science, or social studies). When needed in a particular subject, the school may offer modified instruction in English or other extra help. Academic tests must also be adapted to your child’s needs when necessary.
- Although standardized tests such as the state assessments are given in English, the school must make “accommodations” if necessary to help your child succeed.
How will I know my student’s language goals?
- An individual yearly English Language Learner Outcome Plan (ELLOP) for each student is developed that is based on the Kansas (Common Core) Standards for English Language Proficiency. This plan lays out steps for ensuring the student is making progress throughout the year in attaining English proficiency.
How will I know about my student’s progress?
- Twice a year you will receive an ELL Progress Report that indicates your students’ strengths and weaknesses in regards to the ELL standards and goals.
District ELL Webpage: