ELD Instructional Program Goals

ELD (English Language Development) Instructional Program and Goals

Every school district shall provide a program for each student whose dominant language is not English for the purpose of facilitating the student’s achievement of English proficiency and the academic standards under section 4.12.


-         To increase English language proficiency skills so that students meet state and district academic standards

-         To increase English language skills so that ELLs can communicate for social and instructional purposes with in the school setting.

-         To increase English language skills so that ELLs can communicate information and concepts necessary for academic success in content areas



Each LEA must have a written program plan that includes:
     • a detailed description of the instructional models implemented by the LEA,
     • the process for identification of ELs,
     • the criteria for program exit, and
     • the monitoring process after exit from a language instructional program.


The description must be sufficient to provide guidance to school personnel and families regarding the programs and services that students will receive.  The language instructional program must include:


Instructional Models 
The Program model(s) that the LEA adopts for ELLs must be:
     1) based on an educational theory recognized as sound by some experts in the

         field or considered by experts as a legitimate experimental strategy;
     2) reasonably calculated, including provisions for resources and personnel,

         to implement the theory effectively; and
     3) evaluated and adjusted where needed to ensure language barriers are

         actually being overcome.
Castañeda v. Pickard, 648 F.2d 989 (1981)


Program administrators planning the instructional models should consider LEA demographics, and student characteristics.  Program administrators may choose between an ESL-only and a bilingual education with ESL model.


Options for English language instructional programs are charted in the following
Characteristics of the Major Program Models for LEP Students  (PDF)



Planned Instruction for English language acquisition (ESL) classes
     • Direct English language instruction may not take place during other content

       classes which are required under 22 Pa Code § 4.  
     • Planned Instruction in the ESL Program must include daily instruction supporting

       the program model chosen by the LEA. 
     • Language instruction must be commensurate with the student’s proficiency

       level (i.e. students at levels 1-3 require a greater amount of language instruction

       than students at levels 4 and 5). This includes both direct language instruction

       and adaptations to instruction/assessment in all content areas. 
     • Exact hours of direct language instruction by proficiency level must be

       determined based on student need and program/instructional delivery model.

       Instruction must meet all requirements under Lau v Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974)

       and Castañeda v. Pickard, 648 F.2d 989 (1981).
     • Guidelines to consider when planning direct instruction of ESL:
         – Entering (level 1) / Beginning (level 2) students: 2 hours
         – Developing (level 3): 1-2 hours
         – Expanding (level 4): 1 hour
         – Bridging (level 5): up to 1 hour or support dictated by student need
         Levels are defined by the PA ELPS 
     • ESL must be delivered via curriculum aligned with Pennsylvania’s Reading,

       Writing, Speaking, and Listening Standards, and the PA ELPS for ELLs. 
     • In order to acquire English, students with LEP must receive instruction the

       same as they would receive instruction for other curricular areas. In other

       words, ESL/Bilingual classes must be part of the daily schedule and thoughtfully

       planned from the administrative level so that students are not removed from

       other content classes to receive instruction for English language acquisition.
     • As the proficiency of a student advances into the upper levels

       (i.e. Expanding/Bridging), a student may require only minimal instructional time,

       which may be in the form of ongoing support as needed. HOWEVER, this support

       must be planned, structured time within the school day.


Planned Instruction in Academic content areas (content area classes) 
     • The language instructional program must also provide ELLs with meaningful,
        comprehensible access to instruction in all content areas required by

        Pennsylvania academic standards.
     • The PA ELPS PreK–12 are an overlay to the academic standards and must

        be incorporated in planned instruction for ELLs by all teachers. 
     • The LEA must support instructional planning and evaluation efforts between

        the ESL/Bilingual teachers and the content-area teachers by providing common

        planning time as appropriate.
     • To access the PA ELPS PreK-12, visit www.pde.state.pa.us/esl. For information

       on research-based techniques and models for adapting content instruction

       delivered in English to meet the needs of ELLs, and information about bilingual

       education, visit http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oela/index.html.