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Program Definitions
These terms and acronyms are comonly used in the English Learners program. In addition, some of these designations are also used in reporting data to the State of Illinois.

ACCESS: A state-mandated assessment given to EL students each year to monitor student progress toward meeting the ISBE EL program exit criteria of a minimum of 5.0 composite. (Click here for more information on ACCESS.)

EL: English learner

ELP Level: English language proficiency level based on WIDA standards

EL Specialist Teacher: This teacher has a bilingual and/or ESL endorsement in addition to an educator license. He/she supports EL students through a push-in and/or pull-out model. This teacher collaborates and plans instruction with the classroom teacher.

ESL (English as a second language): The teaching of English to people who speak a different language and who live in a country where English is the main language spoken.

Home Language: Refers to the first question on the Home Language Survey: “Is there a language other than English spoken in your home?”

ISBE: Illinois State Board of Education – offices in Chicago and Springfield. (Click here for more information on ISBE.)

LEP: Limited English Proficient (federal grant terminology for EL students)

Native Language: Refers to the second question on the Home Language Survey: “Does your child speak a language other than English?”

Newcomer: An EL student who has typically been in the United States less than one or two years.

TBE: Transitional Bilingual Education is a state-mandated program for a school site with 20 or more EL students of the same language background. Preschool is counted separately from K – 5. TBE programs require native-language instruction in core subjects as well as ESL.

TPI: Transitional Program of Instruction is a state-mandated program for a school site with 19 or less EL students of the same language background. Native-language instruction may be used as necessary and possible. ESL is the primary instructional methodology.

WIDA: An educational consortium of the state departments of education. Currently, 37 U.S. states participate in the WIDA consortium. WIDA designs and implements proficiency standards and assessments for EL students in Grade K-12, as well as a set of proficiency standards and assessments for Spanish language learners. WIDA also provides professional development to educators and conducts research on instructional practices, as well as the results and use of the ACCESS and W-APT English language proficiency assessments. (Click here for more information on WIDA.)


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