English Language Learning

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The Facts

Arizona has a law for students who are not proficient in English, also known as English Learners (EL).

The expectation is that a focused, directed instructional approach, based on time-on-task research and explicit English acquisition instruction, will produce dramatically improved results for our English learners.

The Goal For English Learners

The goal is to help EL students learn English quickly and move into mainstream classes with the depth of English knowledge necessary for rigorous class work.

What does an English Learner classroom look like?

Tempe Elementary School District provides two models to support the acquisition of English.  

The Structured English Immersion (SEI) model is implemented in a classroom where students are instructed using the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards throughout the day.

The Individual Language Learner Plan (ILLP) model is implemented through the unique plans for each child in the mainstream classroom.  Teachers strategically identify the Performance Indicators that will be used for the differentiated instruction of English learners in the mainstream classroom.

Both class structures consists of:

  • English as the language of instruction.

  • Students receive two (2) hours of English Language Development daily in an Integrated Reading, Oral Conversation, and Vocabulary block, as well as, an Integrated Writing and Grammar block.

  • Materials in English.

  • Students grouped by language proficiency level for differentiated instruction within their grade level.

  • Students taught by highly qualified teachers who hold a Structured English Immersion Endorsement, Bilingual Education Endorsement, and/or English as a Second Language Endorsement.

  • Students taught English at an accelerated rate.

Benefits of both models for English Learners (ELs)

  • Students will learn English at an accelerated pace.

  • Students can concentrate on learning English.

  • Students will learn English required for academic class work.

  • Students will be in classrooms with teachers who are trained to teach English Language Development (ELD).

  • Oversight of student academic progress two years after exiting the English Language Learning Program (ELLP).

  • Consistent focus on instruction during transition throughout the state of Arizona.

Additional Support and Services

  • Translation Services- TD#3 serves students with 74 different languages. The goal is to assist with home to school communication.

  • Mentor Services- Students who are new to the United States and the TD#3 family can be provided a temporary mentor who speaks the student's primary language.  The mentor provides a means to acclimate the student to his or her new surroundings and provides a channel for both parents and students to communicate their questions or needs to the school.

  • Multicultural Education- The multicultural component of each school program allows for opportunities that lead to an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of all individuals regardless of cultural backgrounds.  In addition, positive contributions to society made by individuals from various cultural groups are presented within each program.

  • Rosetta Stone- Students have the opportunity to build their English language skills through this program in class and at home.

  • Language Acquisition Coaches

  • Focused curriculum and materials

  • Instructional Interventions

  • Academic monitoring and testing services

  • Assistance with social services and school/home communication

  • Parent education along with English classes

  • English Language Development Training

  • Professional Development

Entrance and Exit Program Criteria

If information obtained on the Primary Home Language Other Than English (PHLOTE) form during the enrollment process indicates that a language other than English is spoken in the home, the student is evaluated to determine his/her level of English Language proficiency.  The state adopted evaluation assessment is the Arizona English Language Assessment. The results of this language assessment are used to determine whether a child will benefit from the services provided through the English Language Development (ELD) program.

Students who score an overall “Proficient” on the Spring assessment are exited from the ELD program.  A Reclassification Form is sent home to parents regarding their child’s exit status. The student’s English language development and academic success is monitored for the next two years.

These procedures are implemented in accordance with ARS 15-751-756.

For more information on AZELLA, please refer to the page listed below: 


Rocio C. Keffalas, Assistant Director of Instructional Excellence
(480) 730-7219