ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
Welcome! There are approximately 42,542 students in Pennsylvania who are Limited English Proficiency (LEP), speaking in 175 different languages. Educating these students is a challenge to and a responsibility of our public/charter schools. Many schools in Pennsylvania are experiencing a substantial increase in the enrollment of students who cannot speak, read or write English well enough to participate meaningfully in educational programs. Without basic instruction in English, and appropriate support services, these students are at risk of losing the educational opportunities provided to students generally.
The education of students whose dominant language is not English and/or are English language
learners, is the responsibility of every school district/charter school in the Commonwealth. Title 22, Chapter 4, Section 4.26 of the Curriculum Regulations requires that the school district/charter school provide a program for every student who is limited English proficient (LEP) or an English language learner (ELL). The regulation states:
"Every school district shall provide a program for each student whose dominant language is not English for the purpose of facilitating the student's achievement of English proficiency and the academic standards under § 4.12 (relating to academic standards). Programs under this section shall include appropriate bilingual-bicultural or English as a second language (ESL) instruction."
To comply with this requirement, a school district must provide the student with a planned program of English as a second language instruction (ESL) to facilitate the acquisition of English language skills and provide an instructional program appropriate to the student's developmental and instructional level.
Advisory services for the development, expansion and improvement of English as a second
language (ESL) and bilingual education programs are provided by a Bilingual Education/ESL
Advisor in the Department of Education.