English Language Development (ELD)

Our English Language Development (ELD) program will help your child develop English language skills. At the same time, we help your child develop academic language at their grade level.

Students in the ELD program stay at their home schools. They take part in basic education classes. Our paraeducators work with classroom teachers to help English Language Learners (ELLs) learn the new language. ELD paraeducators support the work in the classroom through small-group lessons, one-on-one instruction or by working in the classroom with students. We focus on language development and support content learning in the regular classroom.

When a student starts school, if there is an indication that they have a second language background, we will screen them for possible placement in the ELD program. We currently use the Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment (WELPA) as a placement tool. The WELPA tests reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. In addition, once a student has been qualified for the program, they will be tested each year to determine their progress in English proficiency. The annual WELPA helps us make instructional decisions for our English language learners and determine whether they stay in the program or exit it.

Focus on Language Development

Learning a new language is like the process we go through when we learn our first language. When first introduced to English, learners usually start with a pre-production, or silent period. They begin to understand English, but usually don't yet try to speak it. This period can last from a few days to many months. The silent period is an important time for students to absorb language and culture through observations and participation in activities in school. If a student is new to the country with no English language ability, we will immediately provide intensive instruction in basic communication, vocabulary and English phonics. As English language learners progress in English, we adapt instruction to meet their needs. 

The State of Washington sets English language proficiency standards. The standards describe English learners as they acquire English.

More Information

For more information about our ELD program, please contact June Skirpan at 360-662-1725.