Bilingual Education

Did you know...

 

  • Bilingual students represent 20% of Lansing School District population
     
  • English Learners represent 18% of the total student population
     
  • We have welcomed students from 70 different countries who speak 61 languages

 

The Bilingual Education Department serves the Lansing School District as a centralized location for data, assessment, staffing and services to our bilingual students, families and staff. Our mission is an educational system that  embraces our refugee, immigrant and language minority students and adapting our educational services to provide a learning environment where these students can succeed, integrate and participate fully at all levels.

5 Year Growth Rate of EL Population

The Lansing School District continues an upward trend of EL enrollment. Since 2012, the amount of ELs enrolled in the district has surged 20% and their yearly enrollment has increased by 34%.

The data also shows a rise in the percentage of total population of ELs during the past five years. In 2012, ELs made up 10% of total student enrollment compared to 16% in 2016.

 

Year Total EL New EL
2012 1412 266
2013 1416 249
2014 1469 239
2015 1508 207
2016 1760 401

 

Services We Provide

Language Instructional Educational Programs

The Lansing School District offers Language Instructional Educational Programs (LIEP) for English Learners at Cumberland, Sheridan Road, North, Gardner, and the three high schools. Programs provide services with highly qualified ESL teachers, Specialized Assistants/Bilingual Educators, SIOP trained content area teachers and referrals to available community services.

Every academic year, each school is assessed and ranked by the number of students speaking a given language. This data provides the framework for the creation of a Bilingual Assistant schedule where staff languages are paired with the greatest needs in each school. Bilingual Assistants are funded with supplemental funds which include: Title III LEP, Immigrant, Title I and Section 31a.

Bilingual Resource Center

The Elmhurst Welcome Center offers a Bilingual Resource Room where staff are free to browse and borrow resources to assist in the teaching of a variety of subjects and English language levels. Should a staff member wish to obtain his/her own copy of a resource, the Welcome Center will facilitate this purchase (provided funds are available).

After surveying district teachers and staff regarding resource needs, Title III funds were used to purchase:

  • Picture dictionaries and flash cards which can be used at the elementary level
  • Content area dictionaries for the secondary level
  • National Geographic resources to support 7-12th grade levels
  • Resources to support learners for Entering, Emerging and Expanding language levels
  • Books for parents of early childhood students to read to their children in their own native languages (note: research has proven the positive effects of a parent retaining their native language with their children)

 

Specialized training is also offered on a one-to-one basis to help teachers learn what resources meet their needs best and how to utilize the resource in their practice. Staff are welcome at any time to drop on or make an appointment for consultation and training. 

Finally, an “Available Resources” document and LSD Toolkit has been created to provide resources to all staff working with ELs (see appendix).

Bilingual Intake Office

In 2016, the Lansing Welcome Center and Bilingual Intake Office were created to provide a resource where the newly arrived could enroll, be tested for English proficiency, and be screened for stressors that are important to identify when helping children fleeing trauma and war. The Welcome Center also provides parents with community and school resources to assist them in their adjustment to our community (e.g. Adult ESL classes, community services to support home visits, afterschool opportunities etc.).

Since September 2016, more than 400 students have been enrolled through the Welcome Center and preliminary feedback suggests that principals and staff prefer this form of enrollment over that which occurred school by school.

Teacher Support

Key Terms


A list of frequently used terms in the field of instruction for ELs is listed below. Having a common vocabulary and understanding the meaning of certain key terms enhances collaboration between our staff and schools in the district.

BICS - (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills) The type of language proficiency typically utilized in social and informal settings to carry a conversation with another person.

CALP - (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency) The type of language proficiency required to complete schoolwork and progress in academic situations. (Cummins, 1984)

Cultural Brokers- Provide translation and interpretation support to bridge the language gap between schools and English learner families

ELs- (English Learners) A Limited English Proficient (LEP) student is described according to the federal government definition used in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) below. In Michigan, LEP students are referred to as English Learners (ELs). An EL is a student age 3-21, who is enrolled (or about to enroll), in a U.S. elementary or secondary school and meets these  requirements:

  1. Was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English; and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; or
  2. Is a Native American, Alaska Native, or native resident of outlying areas and comes from an environment where language other than English has had a significant impact in the individual’s level of English language proficiency; or
  3. Is migratory, speaks a native language other than English, and comes from an environment where language other than English is dominant; or
  4. May be unable, because of difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language, to:
    1. Score at the proficient level on state assessments of academic achievement;
    2. Learn successfully in classrooms that have language of instruction in English; or · Participate fully in society

ESL- (English as a Second Language) ESL is the actual teaching process of the English language to students who are not native English speakers.

ELD – (English Language Development) English Language Development (ELD) means instruction designed specifically for English language learners to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in English. This type of instruction is also known as "English as a Second Language" (ESL), "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages" (TESOL), or "English for Speakers of Other Languages" (ESOL). ELD, ESL, TESOL or ESOL are versions of English language arts standards that have been crafted to address the specific developmental stages of students learning English.

Entry criteria Entry criteria are a set of guidelines that designate students as English language learners and help place them appropriately in bilingual education, ESL or other language support services. Criteria usually include a home language survey and performance on an English language proficiency test.

Exit criteria Exit criteria are a set of guidelines for ending special services for English language learners and placing them in mainstream, English-only classes as fluent English speakers. This is usually based on a combination of performance on an English language proficiency test, grades, standardized test scores and teacher recommendations. In some cases, this redesignation of students may be based on the amount of time they have been in special programs.

FLEP- (Formerly Limited English Proficient) The status of Formerly Limited English Proficient (FLEP) means that a student was Limited English Proficient (LEP), but is now fully English proficient. The student understands, speaks, reads and writes English, and possesses the thinking and reasoning skills needed to succeed in general academic classes at or above the student’s age or grade level.

Lansing School District LEP Codes The codes listed below have been created by LSD staff to track ELs progress internally:

Y- Yes (Student is LEP and EL)

F- 1 Year Former LEP

C- 2 Year Former LEP

N– Not LEP

L- 3+ Year Former LEP

R- Returning (To LEP Y status)

T-Test (Student needs to be tested to evaluate if LEP Y or LEP N)

Lau v. Nichols 'Lau vs. Nichols' is a lawsuit filed by Chinese parents in San Francisco in 1974, which led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that identical education does not constitute equal education under the Civil Rights Act. School districts must take "affirmative steps" to overcome educational barriers faced by non-English speakers (Lyons, 1992).

LEP- (Limited English Proficient) A student who does not speak English or whose native language is not English AND currently cannot perform ordinary classroom work in English. The student receives instruction that is specifically designed to assist him/her both in learning English and in learning core area subject matter content.

Long-term English language learner A student who has been enrolled in U.S. schools for more than six years but continues to struggle academically due to limited English proficiency.

Newcomer Program A newcomer program addresses the needs of recent immigrant students, most often at the middle and high school level, especially those with limited or interrupted schooling in their home countries. Major goals of newcomer programs are to acquire beginning English language skills along with core academic skills and to acculturate to the U.S. school system. Some newcomer programs also include primary language development and an orientation to the student's new community (Genesee, et al, 1999).

Pull-out ESL Program in which EL students are "pulled out" of regular, mainstream classrooms for special instruction in English as a second language.

Push-in ESL In contrast with pull-out ESL instruction, a certified ESL teacher provides ELLs with instruction in a mainstream or content-area classroom.

Structured English Immersion Structured English immersion is designed to impart English language skills so that the ELs can transition and succeed in an English-only mainstream classroom once proficient. Instruction in these programs is in English, and teachers use strategies such as visuals, graphic organizers, and gestures to help make the English content comprehensible (ED, 2015) (see http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/ell/glossary.html#newcomer_pr ogram).

Sheltered Instruction and Use of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) In the sheltered English classroom, the student is “sheltered” in learning English through the teacher’s embedding of second language learning principles in the classroom. Principles used in sheltered instruction include the following:

  • Decrease in the complexity of the language used
  • A slower rate yet normal intonation of speech
  • Use of context clues
  • Extensive use of models, graphics, and visuals

A connection between the content and the students’ experiences. The results of these instructional practices are an increased understanding by the student as the teacher is using language that is “comprehensible” to the student. Underlying sheltered instruction (SI) is Stephen Krashen’s theory of “comprehensible input.” Krashen theorized that language learners best acquire language if the “input” from the speaker (teacher) is one step beyond the student’s current ability or “input + 1” (Krashen, 1982).

SIOP includes teaching comprehension of the content for students through techniques such as the use of visual aids, modeling, demonstrations, graphic organizers, vocabulary previews, predictions, adapted texts, cooperative learning, peer tutoring, multicultural content and native language support. When using SIOP, teachers strive to create a nonthreatening environment where students feel comfortable taking risks with language. They also make specific connections between the content being taught and students’ experiences and prior knowledge. The eight interrelated components of SIOP address the linguistic and academic needs of ELs:

  • Lesson preparation
  • Building background
  • Comprehensible input
  • Strategies
  • Interaction
  • Practice and application
  • Lesson delivery
  • Review and assessment (Short et al., 2002)

TESOL – (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages)
TESOL is a professional association of teachers, administrators, researchers and others concerned with promoting and strengthening instruction and research in the teaching of English to speakers of other languages.

WIDA– (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) is an English language proficiency test given to EL students. It assists educators with programmatic placement decisions such as identification and placement of ELs. Test items are written from the model performance indicators of WIDA's five English Language Development (ELD) Standards: Social & Instructional Language, Language of Language Arts, Language of Mathematics, Language of Science and Language of Social Studies.

Test forms are divided into five grade-level clusters and each form of the test assesses the four language domains; Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. 

 

WIDA Standards


A framework that distinguishes five levels of language proficiency which are defined by specific criteria: Entering, Emerging, Developing, Expanding and Bridging. Level 6 (Reaching) represents the end of the continuum rather than another level of language proficiency.

PDF DocumentPlease download the WIDA Standards Guide.

 

Teacher Support Guides for English Learners


The Lansing School District wants to ensure that English Learners across all levels of language proficiency can access and fully engage with the rigorous grade-level Michigan English Language Arts Standards. These English Language learning targets are based upon WIDA’s Six Levels of English Language Proficiency and the Michigan English Language Arts Standards.

Please see the Pacing Guidelines for EL Support on at bottom of the Pacing Guidelines page.

 

LSD Procedures for Educators of English Learners with Suspected Disabilities


PDF DocumentLSD Procedures For Educators of English Learners with Suspected Disabilities with Appendix

 

 

LSD English Learner Academic Resource Toolkit


The Bilingual Education Department of the Lansing School District has developed a list of resources to support educators in the delivery of instruction for students at all grade levels.  Please feel free to contact the Bilingual Department for any additional information you would like to add to this library of resources.

PDF DocumentLSD English Learner Academic Resource Toolkit

 

Parent Support

One of the most important and effective tasks of the Bilingual Department is to provide parents an opportunity to learn about the district and school in which their child is enrolled.

A sampling of parent engagement efforts include:

  • A parent orientation and interview of all new arrivals to assess for needs and to provide links to community resources (see Intake System in appendix)
  • The training and scheduling of Bilingual Assistants and Cultural Brokers for parent-teacher conferences
  • Translated copies of important information in the most commonly spoken district languages
  • Bilingual Telephone Lines in 7+ languages where parents can call, request information, and seek assistance for non-emergencies
  • Recruitment efforts to enroll children in district pre-school programs, adult education opportunities, and community services

Please visit the Adult Education page for services available to parents of our EL students.

Student Support

After School Tutoring

Extending the learning day for English Learners is critical to their language acquisition and ability to achieve grade level benchmarks.

The Lansing School District, with support of the Bilingual Education Department, provides extended day programming for EL’s in grades K-12 during the fall and spring semesters.  Teachers, staff, community agencies and volunteers offer support for the programs. The programs are designed to support WIDA standards, homework completion, testing strategies, and social adjustment support.