Definitions
English Language Learner (ELL): A national origin student who is limited English proficient (OCR document, 11/30/99). This term is often preferred over LEP or ESL, as it highlights accomplishments rather than deficits or subordinates.
English as a Second Language (ESL): Refers to a structured language acquisition program designed to teach English to students whose native language is other than English, until the student demonstrates a functional ability to speak, read, write, and listen to English language at age and grade-appropriate level.
ELL Plan: An official ELL Plan is a federally-mandated document required of all school districts by the Office of Civil Rights and with the provisions of No Child Left Behind that govern bilingual education. Each district develops their own individual ELL Plan suited to their district’s ELL needs.
ELL Specialist: An ESL staff member who is trained in ESL methodologies and assists teachers, students, and families in better navigating the daily operations of the educational and cultural systems within our district by providing language, academic, cultural, and familial support.

ESL Program: An organization and use of techniques, methodology, and special curriculum designed to teach ESL students English language skills, which may include listening, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, content, and vocabulary, as well as American culture discourses. ESL instruction is usually in English with little or decreasing use of native language.
ESL Study-Back:ESL Study-back is an ESL class that serves as an alternative to regular enrichment/study hall. It is a scheduled time that allows ELLs individual or small group attention to focus on any or all of the following: 1) academic concepts they may be struggling with in their sheltered English instruction (SEI) classes, 2) study, time management, and organizational skills necessary for classroom success, and 3) social/emotional needs specific to ELLs. Collaboration between SEI teachers and the ESL teacher is essential in order to make ESL study-back an effective and productive time.
ESL Teacher: Those teachers who provide direct English as a second language instruction and who provide ESL support to non-ESL endorsed teachers.
Language Assessment Committee (LAC): The LAC team, also known as the ELL team, consists of the ESL Teacher, ELL specialist / paras, counselors, one administrator, and a group of sheltered content teachers. This team governs or oversees the ELL program in each building. It reviews IPT/ELDA results, develops and approves the student’s individualized ELL plans, and acts as each building’s liaison for ELL questions, concerns, and staff development needs.
Limited English Proficient (LEP): (The Federal Term) Refers to a student who has a language background other than English and the proficiency in English is such that the probability of the student’s academic success in an English-only classroom is below that of an academically successful peer with an English language background.
Pull-Out Language Services: Pull-out language services are those services provided to ESL students for the purpose of helping the student master his/her English in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and comprehending the English taught in either sheltered content classes or mainstream classes. These services are provided in such a way as to provide them extra learning experiences without having to compete with native speakers of English. Such classes enable English learners to study important subject matter by the use of a comprehension-oriented teaching methodology. The teacher or paraprofessional providing the pull-out language services will also teach the students study skill strategies to prepare them for better success in the mainstream class.
Push-In Language Services: Push-in language services are those services provided to ESL students for the purpose of helping the student master his/her English in the areas of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and comprehending the English taught in either sheltered content classes or mainstream classes. These services are provided in the classroom in order to allow the student the opportunities only afforded in the classroom while assisting the classroom teacher in more easily making appropriate accommodations and learning connections for the ESL student.
Sheltered English Instruction (SEI): Sheltered English Instruction is an accepted and highly-respected approach to teaching ELLs, as well as mainstream students, whereby teachers use various language, cognitive, and communication strategies to teach a specific content area subject in ways comprehensible to the students while promoting their English language development.
Sheltered English Instruction Teacher (sheltered instructor): Sheltered instructors are those teachers who provide ELLs with direct instruction in a core or supplementary content utilizing sheltered English Instruction strategies.


Other ESL Terms:

BICS: Basic Interpersonal Communication SkillsCALP: Cognitive Academic Language ProficiencyCER: Competent English ReaderCEW: Competent English WriterELDA: English Language Development Assessment – annual proficiency progress test ELP: English Language ProficiencyIELDA: Iowa English Language Development AssessmentIPT: IDEA Proficiency Test – language proficiency placement testL1: First language, primary language, native languageL2: A second languageLER: Limited-English ReaderLES: Limited-English SpeakerLEW: Limited-English WriterNELB: Non-English Language BackgroundNEP: Non-English proficientNER: Non-English ReaderNES: Non-English SpeakerNEW: Non-English WriterTESOL: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.TELPA: Tennessee English Language Placement Assessment - language proficiency placement test