How are ESOL Students Identified?
Upon enrollment, a home language survey is to be completed by the student, parent, or guardian to determine if there is the influence of a language other than English in the home. If any response on the survey indicates the use of a language other than English by the student or an individual in the home, then a state-approved language assessment will be conducted by the ESOL teacher to determine language dominance and proficiency levels.
The presence of a language other than English does not automatically signify that the student is not a competent and proficient speaker of English. Some students may actually prove to be bilingual after consultation with the parents/guardians while others might have a parent/guardian who speaks another language while the student speaks only English. It is important to use the Home Language Survey as a springboard for further investigation with the student, parents, and/or guardians of anyone who has atypical answers on the survey even before an English placement test is administered.
The school system is required by law to identify and screen students who may qualify for the ESOL program, thus parent/guardian permission is not needed to screen. If a student qualifies, the parent/guardian is notified and services are begun. Parents/guardians are not required to respond affirmatively to the notification in order for the student to participate in the English language instructional program. All ELL students are required to be assessed annually for English proficiency using the ACCESS for ELLs until they have attained exited status as determined by South Carolina state guidelines.