Bilingual Education
Bureau of Bilingual/ESL Education
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English Language Learners (ELL) in the Mainstream

Part One: The Students

ELL Intake Procedures

Testing: When the student is registered and the home language survey is completed, the district should begin a determination of the student's need for inclusion in an ESL and/or bilingual program. The state of New Jersey requires the use of one of three assessment batteries to assess the student's language ability level. These test batteries are listed on the NJDOE Web site. In addition to information regarding where to acquire the testing materials, the site also lists scoring and the determination of the student's current functioning level in English. In addition to the test battery, and especially if the student scores at a Level 3 or 4, the school should determine through multiple criteria the student's ability to function in the mainstream. "Multiple criteria" indicate that more than just a test score is used to determine eligibility and need for inclusion in an ESL program. "Multiple criteria" should create a comprehensive "photo" of the ELL student on intake. Such additional information for "multiple criteria" should include:

  • Educational background in English and native language
  • Previous ESL or bilingual education
  • Report cards from previous schooling
  • Overall ability to function in the mainstream without support, as determined by documents listed above and assessment battery subtests [e.g., listening, speaking, reading, and writing]