Skip To Main Content

EL Placement Considerations

Although it may seem logical to place a language minority student at a grade level that matches the level of English language skills s/he needs to acquire, it is generally considered a disservice to a child both cognitively and socially to make a placement more than one year below the age-appropriate grade.

If the student is at the low end of the English language proficiency spectrum, the necessary EL services will focus on "survival skills" and basic communication regardless of the child's grade level. Even though the focus of the program at that time is on basic interpersonal communication skills (BIOCS), the school has the obligation to assist the child in learning the content area information that has been taught in earlier grades.


An EL student will not be on grade level academically until s/he has had the opportunity to acquire the English skills and content necessary for success. It is not appropriate to retain a child solely due to limited English proficiency because the child has unique needs and must be given ample time from grade level to grade level to acquire English proficiency. Research findings underscore the fact that the acquisition of a second language for Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) can take from three to seven years under optimal circumstances.


Students who have not met the criteria for EL identification will be monitored by the classroom teacher for the academic year.

Students who have not met the criteria for EL identification but are experiencing difficulties in the classroom may either be retested or referred to an Intervention Assistance Team (IAT).


  1. Students are placed in services within two to five days following initial assessment.
  2. The EL tutor will design a schedule of service times based on the needs of each student. Consideration is given to scheduling EL students for tutoring so that it is least disruptive to their academic classes. Every effort is made to coordinate classroom and EL instruction, as well as other appropriate assistance where needed.
  3. All students identified as EL are placed in small group pullout services, with the exception of those whose parents decline services.
  4. Under federal Law (Title III, Sec. 3302, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001), a yearly Service Plan is required for all students and should address the following: 1) the level of English proficiency (using State-approved English Language Proficiency Assessment), 2) recommended classroom accommodations, and 3) areas to be targeted for improvement. Form: Service Plan

  5. The progress of all students in EL services will be monitored by the EL tutor and shared each nine weeks with parents and classroom teacher.          Form: Student Progress Report