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Background and Basis
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VI, Language Minority Compliance Procedures, requires school districts/charter schools to identify limited English proficient students (language minority students).  The Pennsylvania Department of Education has selected the Home Language Survey (HLS) as the tool to identify limited English proficient students.  The purpose of this survey is to determine a primary or home language other than English (PHLOTE).  Schools have a responsibility under federal law to serve students who are limited English proficient and need ESL or billingual instruction in order to be successful in academic subjects.  Given this responsibility, school districts/charter schools have the right to ask for the information they need to identify these students.  The HLS must be given to all students enrolled in the school district/charter school. The HLS is given one time and remains in the student's permanent record file through the student's graduation.

The HLS recommended by PA is appropriate for all students as an initial identification tool.  After completion of the HLS and identification of a student as a PHLOTE, additional questions that relate to language proficiency may be asked by the school district/charter school.
(To view the complete BEC, see the link provided under Resource Documents located on the ESL home page of the PDE website.)

For additional information, please contact:

Linda Long | Bilingual Education Advisor
Pennsylvania Department of Education - Teaching and Learning, Division of Curriculum
333 Market Street, 3rd Fl. | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.6595 | Fax: 717.783.3946
lilong@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us