Federal Definition of an Immigrant Student
The term “immigrant children and youth,” which is defined in section 3301(6) of Title III, refers to individuals who:
- are aged 3 through 21
- were not born in any State
- have not been attending one or more schools in any one or more States for more than 3 full academic years.
Federal Definition of a Limited English Proficient Student
The term ‘limited English proficient’, when used with respect to an individual, means an individual:
- who is aged 3 through 21
- who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school
- who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English
— (ii)(I) who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and
— (II) who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English language proficiency; or
— (iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and
- whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual
— (i) the ability to meet the State’s proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);
— (ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
— (iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.
District Plan for Hiring ESL Teachers
Federal guidelines require that districts have a plan for assessing and documenting all ESL teachers’ proficiency in English. Districts must document English proficiency in all four domains of communication: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
In Oak Ridge, potential ESL teachers’ listening and speaking are assessed during the interview process. Reading is documented though the successful completion of an ESL endorsement. Writing is assessed through online questions that are part of the application process.