English Language Placement Information

Services for English Learners

What services are available to help students learning English as a Second language?

English Language Development (ELD) is a specific method of teaching in English to build vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency in the English language. ELD specialists work with groups of students who have limited English language proficiency as appropriate to each student’s level of proficiency.

Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) is a specific method of teaching content (i.e. social studies, science, math, etc.) that helps English as a second language learners to master the California Content Standards in English.

All classroom teachers are required to have special training and to practice SDAIE teaching strategies with English learners in their regular education classes.

How are results from the CELDT reported and used?

One of five levels of English proficiency is report from the results the California English Language Development Test (CELDT):

•Early Intermediate
•Early Advanced, and

Students are tested on the CELDT upon entering BHUSD and then annually thereafter to assess English language proficiency and individual progress over the years. Parents are given the results of these tests within thirty days of being received from the scoring service.

The CELDT as well as other measures (exit tests, grades, observations, classroom work samples, and standardized tests such as the CSTs, the CAHSEE,.) are used to determine the student’s class placement. Teachers, parents, and specialists work together in making important educational program decisions.

How does the school decide eligibility to receive services?

California requires all parents to complete a home language survey when registering children for school. The survey asks:

1. What language did this student learn when first beginning to talk?
2. What language do you use most frequently to speak to this student?
3. What language does this student most frequently use at home?
4. What language do adults speak at home most often?

If the answer to the first three questions on the survey is a language other than English, the child must take the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) as well as other measures to determine the child’s English proficiency level. By law, a parent can not opt their child out of this testing.

What does the CELDT Measure?

Only trained examiners administer the CELDT to test listening and speaking, reading and writing. The CELDT measures mastery of the California English Language Development Standards that may be found at this web site:


Can a parent refuse English Language Development instruction?

No, the child is required to receive specialized instructional strategies to help him/her learn English regardless of their program assignment. However, the parent may request a waiver to opt out of a particular language arts program.

English Language Advisory Committees

All parents of English learners are welcome to participate in their school site and District level English Language Advisory Councils. These groups provide valuable input for ongoing program improvement. They additionally receive information about curriculum, instruction, program evaluation and budget. For more information contact your site ELD teacher.

What are the requirements to achieve the status of “English Proficient?”

When describing language proficiency, it is important to remember that mastering English for social purposes is a much easier and shorter process than mastering English to learn and achieve in academic subjects. A student may be reclassified as 'English Proficient’ based on PERFORMANCE, not on the length of time he/she has been in the ELD program. The criteria teachers use to reclassify a child from English learner to English Proficient are as follows:
• A score of 4 or 5 on the CELDT Test
• CST Test results that show a 'basic' level of proficiency in Language Arts and Math
• Grades of C or better in academic classes (i.e. social studies, science, and math,)
• ELD Teacher evaluation of oral English language skills
• Parental approval

CELDT Guides in many languages:

What do these terms mean?

CELDT California English Language Development Test
A California test to assess English language proficiency level in reading, writing, listening, and speaking

DELAC District English Language Advisory Council
District group of parents of English learners who learn about and give advice to staff about programs.

ELAC English Language Advisory Council
Each school has a gourp of parents of English learners who learn about and give advice to staff about programs.

ELL English Language Learner
A student who speaks English as a second language with limited fluency

ELD English Language Development
A program that helps students with limited English proficiency gain in English language fluency

SDAIE Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English
Strategies used in classes to help students with limited fluency learn general coursework in English

SST Student Success Team
The parents, teachers, administrator, and others as they are appropriate that meet to talk about a child’s strengths and needs to best plan an educational program

CST/ STAR Standardized Testing and Reporting
Standardized tests to assess reading, language arts, writing, math, science, and social studies given in English