English Learners

English Learners and Immigrant Resources

Published: 10/4/2018 4:54 PM

This page contains information and resources for Title III including professional development, Video Professional Development and additional information on resources and standards.

English Learner Demographic Information

Based on Kentucky's EL Infinite Campus extract, Kentucky districts reported 134+ languages. The EL Languages Spreadsheet lists the home languages of Kentucky ELs, the number of ELs representing each language group of the total EL population in Kentucky. The "Other" category, represents languages that were not listed in the Infinite Campus data base.

EL Pre-College Curriculum and Foreign Language

Many questions have been asked concerning the ways English Learners (ELs) may demonstrate competency in a foreign language. In order to meet the pre-college curriculum requirement students need to demonstrate a “basic-user” competency in a foreign language, that is, any language other than their native language, including English. There is no requirement for “seat time” or credits. All Kentucky students are expected to achieve the Kentucky Academic Standards, one of which is Academic Expectation 2.28 Students understand and communicate in a second language. Because this expectation does not identify English as the first language, it clearly indicates that students in the Kentucky school systems should have the opportunity to learn a second language beyond their native language.

Endorsements for English Learners (Grades P-12)

The population of school-aged English Learners (ELs) has significantly increased in recent years in Kentucky, thereby impacting many aspects of education. Schools need educators who are fully prepared to teach a growing population of linguistically and culturally diverse learners. 

In Kentucky, the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) is responsible for issuing and renewing certificates for all Kentucky teachers and administrators. EPSB works with Kentucky colleges and universities, out-of-state institutions, and national evaluation agencies and processes approximately 25,000 certification transactions annually. The board is charged with establishing standards of performance both for preparation programs and practitioners and accrediting educator preparation programs. 

To figure out which Kentucky higher education institutions  offer an endorsement in English as a Second Language (Grades P-12) please visit the EPSB Approved Programs webpage.


OELA English Learners Toolkit 
English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards

The WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards for English Language Learners in Kindergarten through 12th Grade serve as Kentucky’s required English language proficiency standards (ESSA Section 1111 (b)(1)(F)). These standards will act as a companion document to the Kentucky Academic Standards in guiding instruction for Kentucky’s English Learners (ELs). The WIDA ELD Standards do not replace the Kentucky Academic Standards. Access the 2012 edition of the WIDA ELD Standards

Home Language Survey

All local school districts are required to administer a home language survey to students enrolled in the district as a first screening process to identify students with limited English proficiency. (703 KAR 5:070).

A local school district shall administer a home language survey to students enrolled in the district as the first screening process to identify students with limited English proficiency. The home language survey shall be based at a minimum on four questions.

  1. What is the language most frequently spoken at home?

  2. Which language did your child learn when he/she first began to talk?

  3. What language does your child most frequently speak at home?

  4. What language do you most frequently speak to your child

Kentucky English Learner Identification

Essential Elements of a Program Services Plan (PSP) for English Learner (EL) Students


To meet the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) 

requirements, states are mandated to identify and annually administer a standards-based English language proficiency test to all English Learners (ELs) in grades K-12. In order to comply with the ESEA requirement of an annual English Language Proficiency Assessment for ELs, Kentucky joined the WIDA Consortium in 2006. The WIDA Consortium’s goal is to provide research based assessments, standards and professional development to its member states.

Member states of the WIDA Consortium can be found on the WIDA webpage.

On July 5, 2017 Kentucky transitioned from the W-APT (WIDA ACCESS Placement Test) to the WIDA Screener Online for identification of English learners (ELs) in grades 1 -12. Kindergarten students will continue to be screened using the W-APT. The Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) developed a Video and PowerPoint to provide training for the new WIDA Screener Online.

WIDA also provides Kentucky with the annual English Proficiency Assessment of ACCESS for ELLs 2.0. For information about ACCESS 2.0, WIDA Screener Online and the Kindergarten W-APT visit the web page for the Office of Assessment and Accountability.

EL Assessment Information and Regulations

Information on the regulations of EL student assessment is located on the OAA Assessments Regulations Training webpage. ELs assessment guidance is found under the Inclusion of Special Populations Training and Section 2 of the Inclusion of Special Populations in the State-Required Assessment and Accountability Programs 703 KAR 5:070 document.

Developing Programs for English Language Learners

In developing an EL plan, a district should consult with all stakeholders. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) provides an outline for Developing Programs for English Language Learners. In the outline OCR identifies 8 key components that a district must address in creating a comprehensive EL plan: 1) Educational Approach, 2) Identification, 3) Assessment, 4) Services, 5) Staffing and Resources, 6) Transition from EL Services, 7) Monitoring, and 8) Program Evaluation.

Monitoring Former English Learners
English Learners (ELs) should be monitored for four years after achieving exit status by meeting the Kentucky English proficiency requirements. Designated instructional staff, such as EL staff or a guidance counselor, must formally monitor the former EL student's academic performance regularly. The information must be documented in the student's records. If monitoring shows that the student is struggling in academic performance and/or English language skills, appropriate assistance and language instruction services must be made available to the student.

If an exited EL is not progressing academically as expected and monitoring suggests a continuing  language issue, districts should re-test the student's ELP with a valid, reliable, and grade-appropriate ELP assessment (WIDA MODEL) to see if the student should be provided additional EL services. If reentered into EL services the district should document the reasons and obtain the parent's consent to reenter the student into EL services.

Title III of the ESEA as amended by the ESSA [Section 3121(a)(5)] requires that districts report on the number and percentage of ELs meeting the State academic standards for four years after students are no longer receiving Title III services.

​Neil Watts
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of Consolidated Plans and Audits
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-3791
Fax (502) 564-8149
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