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A Guide to New Jersey ELL Programs

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Introduction

N.J.A.C.6A:15 (New Jersey's Bilingual Education administrative code) defines kindergarten to grade 12 language assistance program for New Jersey school districts with English language learners (ELLs).  Language assistance programs are divided into three categories (see below).  Districts with small ELL populations are required to provide either ELS or ESL programs depending on population size.  Districts with ELL populations of 20 or more students in any single language group are required to provide full-time bilingual programs for ELLs in that language group.  These districts can request a waiver for any specific grade level(s) to provide a part-time alternative program if it is impractical to offer a full-time program due to age range, grade span, and/or geographic location of ELL students. 


Programs for Small ELL Populations

Alternatives to Full-Time Programs

Full-Time Programs

English Language Services
English as a Second Language (ESL)*

* Always a component of alternative and full-time programs

Sheltered Instruction
High-Intensity ESL
Bilingual Tutorial
Bilingual Resource
Bilingual Part-Time Program

Full-Time Bilingual
Dual Language (Two Way Immersion)

Things to Consider for Students in All Program Types:

  • ELLs with lower English language proficiency (ELP) may need more program services than higher ELP students. 
  • Various ELS/ESL/bilingual program models including co-teaching, small-group work, and pull-out programs may be effective.  Program model effectiveness depends on district factors (e.g. ELP levels, schedules, and staffing).
  • ESL programs must have a board-approved curriculum aligned with the WIDA English Language Development Standards and must support ELLs' ability to access the content and language of their subject-area classes.
  • Teachers with ESL certifications are qualified to fulfill the language arts requirements for ELLs.

Programs for Districts with a Small Population of ELLs

English Language Services (ELS)

Requirements:

  • For school districts with fewer than 10 ELLs
  • Services must be designed to improve English reading, writing, speaking and listening for ELLs
  • Additional to the regular school program and taught by a certified teacher (any instructional certificate)

Example:  A school district with eight ELLs provides approximately 90 to 100 minutes weekly of ELS instruction taught by a certified basic skills teacher.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

Requirements:

  • For district populations with 10 or more ELLs but fewer than 20 ELLs in a single language group
  • ELLs need to be provided at least one period of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)
  • Services must be designed to improve English reading, writing, speaking, and listening

Note: All bilingual education programs must include a minimum of one period of ESL daily

Example:  A school district with 15 Spanish-speaking ELLs and 10 Gujarati-speaking ELLs provides one period of ESL instruction daily.  Bilingual instructional assistants work in grades with high concentrations of ELLs, and content area teachers receive district-provided ELL professional development.

English Alternatives to Full-Time Programs

Sheltered Instruction

Requirements:

  • For districts with 20 or more ELLs of a single language group
  • District must have received a bilingual education waiver for this program type from the NJDOE
  • Teachers in Sheltered Instruction classes must be content-certified teachers who have received training on strategies to make subject-area content rigorous, culturally relevant, and comprehensible for ELLs.
  • ELLs need to be provided at least one period of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs

Example: A school district with 24 Spanish-speaking ELLs provides one period of ESL instruction every day.  All content teachers who work with ELLs have been trained with at least 15 hours of sheltered instruction strategies, and bilingual instructional assistants work in grades with high concentrations of ELLs.

High-Intensity English as a Second Language

Requirements:

  • For districts with 20 or more ELLs of a single language group
  • District must have received a bilingual education waiver for this program type from the NJDOE
  • ELLs need to be provided at least two periods of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)
  • One period is the standard ESL class, and the other period is an ESL tutorial or ESL reading class
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs

Example:  A school district with approximately 25 bilingual Spanish students and three ESL teachers offers high-intensity ESL.  Students receive two class periods of ESL instruction. The ESL teachers provide a period of push-in instruction for content classes and daily, pull-out, ESL reading classes.  Content area teachers receive district-provided ELL professional development.

Bilingual Alternatives to Full-Time Programs

Bilingual Tutorial

Requirements:

  • For districts with 20 or more ELLs of a single language group
  • District must have received a bilingual education waiver for this program type from the NJDOE
  • One period of instruction from a certified bilingual teacher in a content area required for graduation and a second period of tutoring in other required content areas
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs
  • Students enrolled in a bilingual program receive instruction from bilingual teachers who are certified in bilingual education and the content area of the classes

ELLs need to be provided at least one period of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)

Example:

An elementary school district with approximately 40 Haitian-Creole-speaking ELLs and two bilingual-certified teachers offers a bilingual science and language arts tutorial class during group work in the respective subjects. Students also receive at least one period of ESL daily.

Bilingual Resource

Requirements:

  • For districts with 20 or more ELLs of a single language group
  • District must have received a bilingual education waiver for this program type from the NJDOE
  • A program alternative in which students receive, on an individual basis, daily instruction from a certified bilingual teacher in identified subjects and with specific assignments
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs
  • ELLs need to be provided at least one period of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)

Example:

A school district with approximately 30 Spanish-speaking ELLs, 30 Portuguese-speaking ELLs and two bilingual-certified teachers offers a part-time, pull-out bilingual resource program.

Students receive a minimum of one period of daily bilingual reading and writing instruction from the bilingual teacher in addition to their regular ESL instruction.

Bilingual Part-Time Program

Requirements:

  • For districts with 20 or more ELLs of a single language group
  • District must have received a bilingual education waiver for this program type from the NJDOE
  • A program alternative in which students are assigned to mainstream English program classes but are scheduled daily for their developmental reading and mathematics instruction with a certified bilingual teacher
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs
  • ELLs need to be provided at least one period of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)

Example:

A school district with approximately 35 Haitian-Creole-speaking ELLs and two bilingual-certified teachers offers two periods-per-day of bilingual reading and mathematics instruction.  Students also receive at least one period of ESL daily.

Full-Time Programs

Full-Time Bilingual

Requirements:

  • Full-time program of instruction in all courses or subjects that a child is required by law or rule to receive
  • Instruction in speaking, listening, reading, and writing of the native language of ELLs  
  • Instruction in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs
  • ELLs need to be provided at least one period of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)

Example:
A school district with 500 Spanish-speaking ELLs and 45 bilingual-certified teachers offers a self-contained program (all core content areas) for grades K-5 and a departmentalized program (all core content areas) for grades 6-12.  The use of native language for instruction is determined by the English language proficiency and academic level of the students in their native language.  Students also receive at least one period of ESL daily. 

Dual Language (Two Way Immersion)

Requirements:

  • Full-time program of instruction in elementary and secondary schools that provides English language instruction and instruction in a second language in all core content areas
  • For ELLs and for native English speaking students
  • A parent advisory committee must be established so that parents can provide input about ELL programs
  • ELLs need to be provided at least one period of instruction every day by a certified ESL teacher (A period is the time allocated in the school schedule for instruction in core subjects)

Example:

ELLs who speak Spanish at home are placed in classes with students who speak English at home.  All content classes are taught in both English and Spanish, and students from both language backgrounds learn in an environment of biliteracy.