Who Gets ENL Services?

How do students become ELLs?

Short Version:

  1. Parent declares Home Language is not English at registration.
  2. ENL teacher (or other trained teacher) interviews student to determine whether the student can communicate in grade-level English. If not, then step 3.
  3. Student is given the NYSITELL to determine entry into ENL services.
  4. If qualified, student is taught English as a new language in ENL (about 3+ years) while taking normal courses.
  5. Student leaves the program after passing the NYSESLAT, given every year in May.

Long Version:

Page Content:

  • Step 1: Screening
  • Step 2: Initial ELL Identification Assessment
  • Step 3: ELL Program Placement
  • Step 4: Review of ELL Identification Determination
  • Step 5: ELL Exit Criteria

(Source updated July 1, 2015: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/biling/docs/ELLIDCHARTrev.pdf

English Language Learners (ELLs) Screening, Identification, Placement, Review and Exit Criteria

ELL Screening, Identification, and Placement must be completed within 10 school days from enrollment date.


1a. Screening – Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ):

The HLQ is part of the new student packet that parents fill out when enrolling in a new school. It is maintained in each student’s cumulative file. Students must be enrolled in school upon registration

⇒ HLQ indicates student’s home or primary language is English. ⇒⊗STOP! STUDENT IS NOT AND ELL.

⇒ HLQ indicates student’s homeor primary language is other than English. ⇒ CONTINUE TO STEP 1b.

1b. Screening – Individual Interview:

An interview is conducted in English and in the student’s home language by qualified personnel with students and parents/guardians. This includes reviewing documents, prior assessment, and academic experience. An assessment of the student’s abilities and/or work samples determines the student’s literacy and math level in his/her home language. Based on the parent or guardian’s indicated preferred language, the interview must be conducted with a qualified translator/interpreter provided by the school/district. Note that this is a DOE requirement which charters schools may interpret differently.

⇒ Results of the individual interview indicate that the student’s home or primary language is English ⇒⊗STOP! STUDENT IS NOT AN ELL.

⇒ Results of the individual interview confirm that the student’s home or primary language is other than English. N.B. Interview results may assist in determining SIFE (Student with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education) in step 2b.

1c. Screening – Students with disabilities who enter with an IEP.

Follow CR Part 154-3 procedure regarding Students with Disabilities (SWD). Based on evidence reviewed, the Language Proficiency Team (LPT) makes the following determination:

⇒If the LPT determines that the student with an IEP does not need ELL services, a recommendation will be made to the principal. Read more about this sub-item here. ⊗STOP! STUDENT IS NOT AN ELL.

⇒ If the LPT determines that the student with an IEP may have second language acquisition needs, the LPT will recommend the student take the NYSITELL with or without accommodations specified in the IEP. ⇒ Continue to Step 2a. Initial ELL Identification Assessment – NYSITELL.


2a. Initial ELL Identification Assessment – NYSITELL:

Qualified personnel administer the statewide English language proficiency identification assessment, curently the NYSITELL. For students with disabilities, provided approved testing accommodations per the student’s IEP or 504 Plan, as indicated in CR section 154.3.3(a)(7). Originals or copies of NYSITELL score sheets and results must be maintained in each student’s cumulative record.

⇒ Student demonstrates English language proficiency at the Commanding (Proficient) level. ⊗STOP! STUDENT IS NOT AN ELL

⇒ Student demonstrates English language proficiency at one of the following levels:

» Entering (Beginning)

» Emerging (Low Intermediate)

» Transitioning (Intermediate)

» Expanding (Advanced)

Then, ⇒ STUDENT IS AN ELL, go to step 2c.

Step 2b. If a student was identified as a potential SIFE during Step 1, see step 2b here.

Step 2c. Parent Notification of ELL Identification Determination

Within 5 days of students being identified as an ELL, parents/guardians are to receive written notice in their indicated preferred language, including the:

Notification letter must be maintained in student’s cumulative file.

» Parents’ right to seek a Review of ELL Identification Determination

» ELL’s English language proficiency level

» Information regarding the Parent Orientation session

2d. Parent Orientation for New English Language Learners

Prior to an ELL’s placement in Bilingual Education (BE) or English as a New Language (ENL) program, districts are required (by the DOE) to provide the parents/guardians of new ELL entrants with a high-quality orientation session in the parents’/guardians’ indicated preferred language. The session must include information regarding NYS Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), assessments, school expectations for ELLs, and program goals and requirements for BE and ENL programs. Orientation agendas and sign-in sheets must be maintained in district/school files.


Students must be identified and placed in an appropriate ELL program within 10 days of enrollment. BE is the default ELL instructional program placement. Grade span for any BE or ENL class is 2 contiguous grades.

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CR 154-2.3(b) provides a mechanism for schools/districts to address possible instances of initial ELL misidentification.


⇒ Grades K-12: Scoring at the Commanding/Proficient Level on the NYSELAT; or

⇒ Grades 3-8: Scoring at the Expanding/Advanced Level on the NYSESLAT, and 3 or above on the NYS ELA assessment in the same school year. or

⇒ Grades 9-12: Scoring at the Expanding/Advanced Level on the NYSESLAt and 65 or above on the Regents Exam in English.

Upon exiting ELL status, an ELL is entitled to 2 years of Former ELL (FELL) Services and testing accommodations on NYS assessments. The same Exit Criteria pertain to ELLs with disabilities, but they must receive testing accommodations listed in their IEPs. (Please refer to CR section 154-3.4).

(Source updated July 1, 2015: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/biling/docs/ELLIDCHARTrev.pdf