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English as a Second Language

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English as a Second Language 

The Bilingual/English as a Second Language Department serves students who are in the process of acquiring the English Language.  Our education philosophy is:

  1. English Language learner students require the ability to understand, speak, read, and write English with  fluency to realize their full potential within the English speaking society.
  2. The most successful programs are those that develop a positive self-concept in each student, while they continue to develop their English proficiency.
  3. Teachers should have high expectations of all students, regardless of the student's background or academic preparation.
  4. Teachers must help students in adjusting to cultural, language, and attitudinal difference.
  5. Students in heterogeneous groupings learn from each other as well as from the teacher.
  6. The ability to speak more than one language is a valuable asset and one that should be recognized as such.

Department Mission Statement:

The mission of the East St. Louis Public Schools' programs for English language learners is to enable students with limited English proficiency to develop the linguistic, cognitive, cultural, and self-concept skills necessary for success in school and beyond. The students will accomplish this development in an atmosphere of understanding, cooperation, and support.

Identification, Assessment, and Placement of Students


The Federal ESSA-Title III Act and the Illinois School Code require that each school district administers a Home Language Survey to every student entering the district’s schools for the first time for the purpose of identifying students of a “non-English background”. According to Illinois School Code, students of the non-English background are students, whether born in the United States or born elsewhere, whose native language is other than English or who come from homes where a language other than English is spoken. The Home Language Survey must ask the following two questions:

  1. Is a language other than English spoken in your home?       If yes, what language? _______________________________
  1. Does this student speak a language other than English?       If yes, what language? _______________________________

If the answer to either question is YES, the student is identified as having a non-English background.


  1. All students in grades 1- 12 identified through the Home Language Survey as having a non-English background must be assessed using the WIDA ACCESS Online Screener (Screener) to determine eligibility for ELL Program services. Students in Kindergarten must be assessed using the WIDA Measure of Developing English Language (MODEL). The Screener or MODEL must be administered by a teacher who is a certified ACCESS Test Administrator. This assessment must occur within 30 days of the student’s enrollment in the district at the beginning of the school year or within 14 days of enrollment during the school year.
  1. If a student transfers in from another school district and has Screener, MODEL, or ACCESS scores , those scores can be used to determine eligibility and the student does not need to be re-assessed.


  1. A student whose overall score on the Screener or MODEL does not meet the minimum score required to be considered “proficient” as defined by the State Superintendent of Schools is considered to be limited English proficient and must be enrolled in and receive services from the ELL Program. (See Entry and Exit Criteria)
  2. A student whose overall score on the Screener or MODEL does meet the minimum score required to be considered “proficient” as defined by the State Superintendent of Schools is not enrolled in the ELL Program. (See Entry and Exit Criteria)

Parental Notification:

Parents must be notified by mail that their child has been placed in the ELL Program no later than 30 days after the start of the school year or 14 days if enrolled during the school year. The parent notification letter is sent in English and in the home language of the student (to the extent possible).

Withdrawal by Parents:

Any parent whose child is enrolled in the ELL Program has the right to withdraw his child immediately by notifying the child’s school or the school district in writing of his desire to withdraw his child from the program.


Elementary ELL:

English as a Second Language (ESL)

The Elementary ESL curriculum is tied directly to District 189 curriculum, Common Core State Standards,  WIDA English Language Development Standards and WIDA Spanish Language Development Standards. ESL is taught through academic content using current instructional strategies that emphasize active, discovery-oriented, and cognitively complex learning. Integrated language and content instruction enables English language learners to learn English through the study of academic disciplines such as mathematics, science, and social studies. This approach is an effective way for English language learners to develop their language skills and their academic skills at the same time. Students receive ESL services based on two models of instruction: push-in and pull-out.

Push-in: • ESL and classroom teacher co-teach; both teachers are equally involved in the planning, implementation, and assessment of classroom instruction.

  • Instruction takes place in the grade level classrooms.
  • Materials and strategies are appropriate for all students and are specifically adapted to meet the needs of ELL students.

 Pull-out: • Students receive ESL services outside of their regular classrooms.

  • Instruction takes place in small group settings.
  • Students are grouped by grade and ability level.
  • ESL instruction is based on district grade level curriculum; therefore, students are not missing core content while out of the classroom.
  • Materials and strategies correlate with students’ English proficiency levels.

Bilingual Education (not offered at every school):

In addition to ESL instruction, students in the elementary TBE Program receive native literacy instruction and/or native language support.

  • Native literacy instruction follows the district literacy curriculum using the Spanish version of the evidence-based series Wonders/Maravillas published by McGraw-Hill.
  • Native literacy instruction begins in kindergarten.
  • As students transition into English literacy instruction, they continue to receive Native Literacy Enrichment.
  • Native language support is provided by bilingual teachers and/or teaching assistants.
  • Bilingual teaching assistants push into classes to support the instruction of the classroom teacher through translation and clarification.

Middle School ELL:

English as a Second Language (ESL)

  • The middle school offers resource instruction from a certified ESL teacher within the school day.
  • Students who score too low on the ACCESS test or  WIDA Online screener are enrolled in the Sheltered English classes at the St. Clair Regional Office of Education ESL class for the morning.  This program provides sheltered instruction for the students who would not be able to access the content in a regular classroom.  Three classes are offered: English, social studies, and science or health.  The classes count toward promotion.
  • Spanish language support is given, as needed.

High School ELL:

ELL Resource Time

  • Students are offered resource time with an ESL teacher during their prep or encore class time.  

Bilingual Paraprofessional

  • A bilingual paraprofessional is available for translation help in mathematics and other classes, as needed.

Sheltered ELL Content Classes

  • Sheltered ELL Content classes are specialized sections of regular high school classes, but use instructional materials and techniques appropriate for English language learners. This makes grade level academic content more accessible for English language learners while they continue to develop English skills.  These classes are offered at the St. Clair Regional Office of Education in Belleville, IL.  Students receive high school credit for the classes.  Students are allowed to attend the ROE until they attain enough English proficiency to access the curriculum in their regular classes.

Este debeserllenado por padres o tutores del niño(s)


Contact Us:

Antionette Johnson, Bilingual Program Leader
Phone: 618-646-3335

Lynette Anderson-Burgett,  ESL Teacher

Martha Coleman, Bilingual Paraprofessional and Translator
Phone:  618-646-3870

Hazel Douglas, ESL Teacher
Phone:  618.646.3750

Keeva Johnson, ESL Teacher
Phone:  618.646.3750

Tamara Coleman, Bilingual Paraprofessional and Translator
Phone:  618.646.3750

Eva Rogers, Bilingual Paraprofessional and Translator
Phone:  618.646.3290

Bilingual Line
Phone: 314-643-8088