Classifying/Identifying ELL Students

Identify students who have a home language other than English based on Home Language Survey. If other than English continue:

  • Interview parent and student:

What was the student’s first language?

Which language(s) does the student use (speak) at home and with others?

Which language(s) does the student hear at home and understand?

Which language do you(parent/guardian) use when speaking to your child?

  • If it is determined that student does not speak or understand other language, student is listed as English Only
  • If determined that student does speak and understands the other language, further screening is completed by using the W-APT for kindergarten students or WIDA grades1-12

Reclassifying a Transitional EL

A transitional EL experiencing academic difficulties should not be immediately reclassified as an EL. As noted above, appropriate instructional supports for reading, writing, speaking and listening including RTI2, should be implemented. If those additional instructional supports do not resolve the issue, the RTI2 committee should review the documentation (Dibels, STAR, benchmark data, classroom observations) and, if appropriate, implement more intensive Tier 2 and 3 interventions.An ESL professional should be included in these discussions and decisions. All Tier 2 and 3 interventions must be linguistically accessible to the student.

Following a documented period of Tier 3 RTI2 support, if academic difficulties persist and data support the belief that language proficiency is the root of the problem, the RTI2 committee may determine that the student should re-enter the ESL program. No rescreening is necessary to reclassify a student as an EL during the monitoring period. Documentation from progress monitoring, analysis of English language proficiency and use of accommodations and modifications within the classroom should be addressed.


A monitored student should only be reclassified if it is determined that they are struggling academically due to a lack of English proficiency and that accommodations and modifications are not adequate for the student to experience academic success.

  • 1.Review previous WIDA assessment, grades,
  • 2.Classroom observations
  • 3.Interviews with parent and student

4. Provide the student with any instructional support available at the school. Student should receive T2/T3 interventions, instructional support for an appropriate amount of time.

5.Increase Tier interventions and monitor progress to determine is intervention is appropriate.

6. Determine if the student’s difficulties are due to their English proficiency level or a lack of content knowledge