Multi-Lingual Learners

Multi-Lingual Learners refers to students who have consistent experience with multiple languages. The goal of the program is to assist students in developing their English language proficiency and grade-level content knowledge at the same time.

Our model for English Language Development is Sheltered Mainstream Instruction. This is an approach for teaching students using specific strategies to make academic subjects comprehensible and accessible while promoting the students’ English language development. This English Language Development support is received by all multilingual students in their classrooms, though individual or small group support is also available as needed.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do students qualify?
All students who register with a school in Washington State are asked to fill out a home language survey that identifies their primary language.  When a student has identified a language other than English as their first language, they will be given a state-approved language proficiency placement test within ten days of their enrollment to determine qualification.

 How are students assessed, and what is the WIDA?
The World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) is a series of English language proficiency assessments for Kindergarten through grade 12.  It assesses skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. 

How long do students stay in the program?
Students in Port Townsend School District stay in the program for an average of 60 months.  The WIDA is administered every year in Jan-March. Students who transition out of the program are monitored for another two years to ensure they remain academically successful.

When students arrive in Port Townsend from another country, how are they placed in Port Townsend schools? 
Students of all English language proficiency levels are placed in classrooms according to age-group. This is in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects the rights of students with limited English language proficiency to equal access of programs and activities receiving Federal funds. It is a violation of students’ rights if students are retained in grade for failure to demonstrate basic skills in English.

What are the standards for multilingual learners?
Multilingual learners are taught and assessed on their grade level standards in all academic areas.  The WIDA Learning Progressions are used to determine progress in language development.  


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