Title III: English Language Development

An Overview

English Language Development Program Goals

1. The goal of the English Learner Development classroom is to provide rigorous and intensive English instruction. Students are instructed in both social and academic language to support their English proficiency growth. Students receive quality instruction in listening, speaking, reading and writing as outlined in the Pennsylvania Language Proficiency Standards. The goal of English Language Development instruction both in and out of the ELD classroom is to provide students with full access to the curriculum at their proficiency levels. The amount of time each student receives EL specific English only instruction is based on students’ specific proficiency levels and needs.

2. The K-12 English Learner (EL) Program of the Springfield School District provides students with the language skills they need to successfully participate in content area classes. To meet this goal, ELD instruction addresses the Pennsylvania Language Proficiency Standards and Pennsylvania Core Standards. Emphasis placed on various benchmarks is adjusted to the needs of the individual student. An underlying objective is to provide a source of support as the student seeks to understand and adapt to his or her new cultural and academic setting. EL teachers work to develop an appreciation of their students’ strengths within the school setting and to ensure full access to the range of educational opportunities available in the schools. English Learners fully participate in the regular education content classes at the level of their English proficiency with the goal being attainment of the PA Core Standards.

3. The new Pennsylvania Basic Education Circular (BEC) released in July 2017 outlines state requirements for “Educating English Learners” in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education states, “There are more than 61,000 English Learners (ELs) speaking more than 200 different languages in Pennsylvania. The education of students whose dominant language is not English and who are ELs is the responsibility of every Local Education Agency (LEA). Title 22, Chapter 4, Section 4.26 of the Curriculum Regulations requires the LEA to provide a program for every student who is an English learner (EL).”

“The goal of language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) is to facilitate the development and attainment of English proficiency and academic achievement of students whose native or first language is not English. Without instruction in social and academic English and appropriate support for learning academic content, these students are at risk of losing the educational opportunities provided to non-EL students.

Contact Information

Cynthia Mattei
Director of Teaching and Learning
Director of Federal Programs


Cindy Barnes
English Language Development Teacher

E.T. Richardson Middle School
Sabold Elementary


Lisa Gowman
English Language Development Teacher

Scenic Hills Elementary
Springfield Literacy Center

Kristen Heal
English Language Development Teacher

Springfield High School


Title III- Programming

Title III funding may be used by LEAs to enhance existing ESL/Bilingual programs. It may be used only to supplement, not supplant, existing programs and sources of funding.. There are three required activities for the use of Title III funds:

1. Provide a high-quality LIEP

2. Provide professional development to teachers, administrators, and other school-based personnel who work with ELs

3. Provide and implement other effective activities and strategies that enhance or supplement LIEPs, which must include parent, family, and community engagement activities, and may include strategies that serve to coordinate and align related programs

Parents Right to Refuse Service: The Pennsylvania Department of Education has instituted a parental right to refuse English Language Development (or “opt out” of ELD). Although it is not advised, if a parent so chooses, they may refuse specialized services or classes that are only provided for English Learners. (This does not include a class composed of ELs and non-ELs in which ELD is supported through content instruction.)

If you are interested in learning more about your right to refuse ELD service for your child, please contact your ELD teacher or building principal.

Title III Program Goals 2018-2019

  • 100% of EL students receiving Title III services will demonstrate growth in English Language proficiency.
  • Maximize parent involvement in school based activities.
  • Support student growth through high quality PD for classroom teachers and support staff that focuses on highly effective instructional practices for EL students.



Identification & Placement

Identification of English Learners

The K-12 ELD Program conducts an initial screening once the appropriate steps have been taken in the PDE “English Learner Identification Procedure” guidelines.

PDE English Learner Identification Procedure

  • WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT)

    • W-APT stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. It is an English language proficiency "screener" test given to kindergarten students that have registered for classes who may be designated as English language learners.
    • The Entrance Requirements: In Kindergarten a Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Raw score for oral language of 19 or lower OR Between 20-24 inclusive AND reading ≤ 6 OR writing score ≤ 4 on the W-APT assessment is eligible for ELD services. In some cases, multiple criteria may be used to determine eligibility.
  • WIDA Screener Placement Test

    • Students in grades 1-12 will be administered the WIDA Screener. A WIDA Screener composite score of 5.0 or lower is eligible to receive ELD service

Program Placement of English Learners

Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP)

The LIEP program within the Springfield School District is designed for all ELs to have equitable access to academic content for all courses for which they are enrolled.

Program types:

  • EL Specific English only instruction
  • Mixed classes with English only

Assessment & Reclassification


Annual State English Language Proficiency Assessment: PDE is a member of the multi-state World Class Instruction Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium. The WIDA Consortium developed an assessment entitled Assessing Communication and Comprehension in English State to State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs). The Pennsylvania Department of Education uses the ACCESS for ELLs as the required instrument for the annual assessment of English language proficiency. ACCESS for ELLs is a standards-based, criterion referenced English language proficiency test designed to measure English language learners' proficiency in English. It assesses social and instructional English as well as the language associated with Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies within the school context across the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing.


ACCESS 2.0 Test dates for 2018-19

  • January 8, 2019- February 22, 2019


Reclassification Criteria

The Springfield School District follows the exit criteria requirements as outline by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Once ELs attain English proficiency as defined in the state reclassification procedure, they must be reclassified as former ELs. The academic progress of former ELs is actively monitored by district personnel for a period of two (2) years after reclassification.

Click here to view the Reclassification Criteria.


Key Terms

Key Program Terms

English Learner (EL) - Refers to students who are identified as still in the process of acquiring English as an additional language.

Immigrant (IMM) –The term “immigrant children and youth” means individuals who:

  • (A) are aged 3 through 21;
  • (B) were not born in any State; and
  • (C) have not been attending one or more schools in any one or more States for more than 3 full academic years.

*Students from Puerto Rico are not considered immigrants.

Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) - Students identified as SLIFE are:

  • Enrolling after grade two, AND
  • Have a literacy score of less than 3.5 on the WIDA Screener or MODEL Screener, AND
  • Have at least two fewer years of age appropriate schooling than peers or has disenrolled from U.S. schools to enroll in schools in other countries (including Puerto Rico) more than two times in the past four years, AND
  • Have limited encoding/decoding skills in native language (as indicated by family interview and/or native language measures and/or review of academic records and/or local measures)

English Language Development (ELD) - Refers to the courses, classes, and/or programs designed for students learning English as an additional language.

WIDA Consortium- WIDA is a consortium of states dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English language learners. To this end, the WIDA Consortium has developed English language proficiency standards and an English language proficiency test aligned with those standards (ACCESS for ELLs®).

WIDA Screener - Intake assessment for ELLs new to the U.S. school system or to a particular district. It is aligned to the WIDA English Language Proficiency standards and the ACCESS for ELLs.

W-APT- Intake assessment ONLY for entering Kindergarten students. Must test in all 4 domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing

ACCESS for ELLs 2.0- Annual assessment given to students in Pennsylvania to measure academic English language proficiency. Assessment is online and measures English language proficiency in Listening, Speaking, Reading, & Writing.

Alternate ACCESS for ELLs – Alternative ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment for students identified as special education students and meet required criteria for participation.

English Language Proficiency Levels:

  • Level 1: Entering
  • Level 2: Emerging
  • Level 3: Developing
  • Level 4: Expanding
  • Level 5: Bridging
  • Level 6: Reaching

Parent Webinars

Resources for EL Families


Pennsylvania is part of the World-Class Instructional Design & Assessment (WIDA) standards for English learners (ELs) consortium. More information about WIDA can be found in the links below.

English Language Proficiency Standards - WIDA's standards outline the progression of English language development and exemplify how to teach academic language within the context of content area instruction.

The WIDA Consortium's English Language Proficiency Standards encompass:

  • Social and Instructional language
  • the language of Language Arts
  • the language of Mathematics
  • the language of Science
  • the language of Social Studies


English Language Development Standards - WIDA draws on multiple theories and approaches in an effort to describe language use in academic contexts; this is the language that language learners must acquire and negotiate to participate successfully in school. These multiple theories and approaches form a theoretical foundation that supports the WIDA standards framework.

The standards framework consists of five components. Some of these components are expressions of a particular philosophy, while others are explicit representations of knowledge. The five components are:

  • Can Do Philosophy
  • Guiding Principles of Language Development
  • Age-appropriate Academic Language in Sociocultural Contexts
  • Performance Definitions & Strands of Model Performance Indicators (MPIs)

WIDA Standards

WIDA Can-Dos

WIDA Performance Definitions

WIDA Access

Helpful Websites

Starfall - Basic Reading and Writing Skills

ESL-Kids.com - Flashcards, worksheets, classroom games and children's song lyrics

Colorin colorado! - Resources to support English Language Learners

Kahn Academy - Free online courses, lessons and practice

Storynory - Free audio stories

Rewordify - Simplify Difficult English