English Language Learners (ELL Services)



ELL Definition

  • An English language learner (often capitalized as English Language Learner or abbreviated to ELL) is a person who is learning the English language in addition to his or her native language.

New Hampshire is an active member of the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium. WIDA is dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English language learners (ELLs). To this end, the WIDA Consortium has developed English language proficiency standards and an English language proficiency test aligned with those standards (ACCESS for ELLs®). Over 4,000 ELL students in New Hampshire public schools take part in the ACCESS for ELLs®.

Under federal education law (Title I and Title III), ALL students who are identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) are required to be assessed each year with this approved assessment. The ACCESS for ELLs English language proficiency test is given every year from early January through the end of February.

“LEP students” are defined as currently enrolled students who have not already reached threshold proficiency scores on the ACCESS test. Please note: the test must also be given to any LEP identified student who is currently eligible but who is not receiving services for ANY reason. There are some very limited exceptions to this participation requirement.

Definition of Proficiency – In order to reach proficiency on the ACCESS for ELLs™, a student must attain no less than a 5.0 composite score and no less than a 4.0 on each domain score (Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing).
Certified ESOL teachers must also be certified to give the ACCESS for ELLs English Language Proficiency test by taking an on-line training course and passing the certification tests. Please contact Cari Christian-Coates at the SAU office for more information on ConVal’s ELL program (924-7503 extension 2048, ccoates@conval.edu)