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Language Acquisition and Development


Julia Lindberg, Ph.D.
Coordinator

520-545-2365
520-545-2374 Fax

2238 E. Ginter Road
Tucson, AZ 85706
United States
32° 8' 14.676" N, 110° 56' 16.1376" W

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Vision- English Language Learners in every school are guaranteed a high quality and equitable education.

Mission-The Language Acquisition Department seeks to create a culture of support in the Sunnyside Unified School district that ensures English Language Learners in every school are guaranteed a high quality and equitable education.

The Language Acquisition and Development Department will provide assistance in developing a systemic and school-based strategic approach to strengthening and accelerating the academic achievement of English Language Learners in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

Program Model
The program model for English Language Learners (ELL) is Structured English Immersion (SEI) which is available in all schools.  The following is a description of how students are identified and supported through the Language Acquisition Programs offered at Sunnyside.

Student Identification
Students are identified when registration information indicates a primary language other than English is spoken by the student.  Students receive an assessment known as the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA). Students are identified as English Learners when their AZELLA score demonstrates that their proficiency level is Pre-emergent, Emergent, Basic or Intermediate.

Placement
Students who are identified as English Learners are placed into the Sunnyside District’s Structured English Immersion (SEI) programs. In the SEI program, students receive 4 hours of English Language Development, where they learn and practice skills in oral communication, reading, writing, and grammar.

English Learners also participate in subject area classes. In these classes, Math, Science, Social Studies, and elective or specialist classes, teachers include language objectives that help students learn the concepts of the class while continuing to practice the language skills they are learning.

ELL students are placed in the SEI Program for a period not normally to exceed one year.  Students who do not reach proficiency as measured by the AZELLA will continue in the SEI program.

Assessment
Students are assessed when they first register in the district. Students are reassessed at the end of their first year and each following year until they are measured to be proficient. Students in grades four through twelve and at the Intermediate level of proficiency may receive an assessment at the end of the first semester. Upon reaching proficient status, students are monitored through reassessment and academic performance for two years.

Reclassification
Students are reclassified when they reach proficiency on the AZELLA. When students are classified as Proficient, they are placed in the mainstream curriculum.

After Reclassification
Students are reclassified when they reach a proficient score on the AZELLA test. Reclassified students are monitored for two years. During the monitoring period, students’ grades in mainstream classes are reviewed at the end of the first and third quarters, and their language proficiency is assessed annually using the AZELLA. If students are having difficulty with classes, they are eligible for participation in extended day, Saturday school, and/or summer school.

ELL After Reclassification (ELL-AR)
Reclassified students who are tested and receive a score that is not proficient have three options. Parents may choose to have their child:

  1. Participate in an SEI program during the regular school day, as they did when they were classified as ELL
  2. Participate in mainstream classes, but receive instruction in extended day, Saturday school, and/or summer school
  3. Refuse placement and continue in mainstream classes.

Additional Programs Available (Compensatory Education Programs)
With parental permission, ELL and students Reclassified within the last 2 years may participate in programs outside the school day. The focus in these programs is to help students develop English skills and make progress toward English proficiency.

Extended Day
Before and after school programs usually occur 1 hour per day and 2-3 days per week.

Saturday School
Saturday mornings for 3-4 hours. The focus of lessons is on oral language development as well as Reading and Writing.

Summer School
Schools offer summer classes for 3 hours a day for 2-3 weeks.  English language in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Additional Services and Functions

  • Translation/Interpretation services
  • Professional Development for teachers, administrators and staff
  • Consultation on instructional materials and curricular design
  • Consultation for parental engagement/advocacy
  • Compliance monitoring
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