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    What is English Language Development?
     
    English Language Development, or ELD, is a program for students whose dominant language is not English.  The purpose of ELD is to facilitate the student’s achievement of English proficiency, while simultaneously meeting the academic standards. Students are instructed in the four domains of language: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.
     
    This program was formerly known as English as a Second Language, or ESL, and is often still referred to by this name.  ELD and ESL are the same.
     
    What is an English Learner [EL]?
     
     An EL, or English Learner, is a student who
    • Was/was not born in the US, whose native language is other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant. or
    • Is migratory with a native language other than English and comes from an environment where English is not the dominant language.
    What are the goals of the ELD program?
     
    To facilitate the acquisition of English language skills and provide an instructional program appropriate to the students' various developmental and instructional levels.
     
    What is the ELD program in Central Bucks like?
     
    Students entering our school system come from varied backgrounds, circumstances, and educational experiences. Some are refugees or immigrants, while others are native-born Americans whose native and/or dominant language is a language other than English. Some have participated in extensive formal education in their native language, while others have had their education delayed or interrupted. As a consequence, students coming to our schools possess a wide range of language competencies both in their native language and English. English Language Development (ELD) instructional services will be provided at designated ELD Cluster Schools within the school district. ELD teachers are responsible for scheduling, instructing, and testing these learners, including the cultural and social aspects of the English language.  ELD instruction offers support in content areas by reinforcing vocabulary and/or concept development. After students have met exit criteria, they will return to their home schools and will be monitored for four years.
     
    How do students enter the program?
     
    Upon registration, all families are required to complete a Home Language Survey.  Any student who indicates they speak a language other than English at home is referred to the ELD Program Coordinator for further consideration. The Coordinator may conduct a family interview, and/or review school records, exams, and previous schooling experience, to determine if the student requires an initial test of their language proficiency.  If so, the student is assessed using various screening methods to determine his/her level of English proficiency and instructional needs. 
     
    Are translation services available?
     
    Yes, the school district subscribes to an interpreter service and can use translators to communicate with family members in more than 200 languages.
     
    Do English Learners have to take PSSAs and Keystone Exams?
     
    Yes, unless the student has been in the United States for less than one year. A full explanation of state testing policies and accommodations can be found here.
     
    How do students exit the program?
     
    Students in the ELD program are assessed each year using the WIDA Access Test. ELD teachers determine whether the student has met state-mandated exit criteria each year. Exit criteria can be found here
     
    What happens after students exit the program?
     
    When a student is exited from the ELD program, he/she returns to the homeschool. During the four years after exit, the student's progress is monitored through collaboration between the ELD Coordinator and homeschool teachers.
     
    Where can I find more information on ELD/ESL in Pennsylvania?