- ELD 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
These were all terms pertaining to me that were foreign to me last year when I first started teaching. In teaching, there are so many acronyms. Imagine trying to make sense of them all. Especially when I have to contend with special ed. acronyms also. It enough to drive anyone crazy.
But I digress. On to the good news. I just finished ELD training. It was wonderful. I am so happy that I was finally able to get trained. I hope I always feel this way about training.
During the year, I was confused when it came time to complete the ELD folders. Thank goodness my EL Coordinator walked me through it. Though helpful, it was not enough. I was still lost. That’s why I was so thrilled when my Principal informed me that I would be going to the training.
I learned so much in this training. I am excited about going back and using these strategies in my classroom. If I could have had this training last year, I would have been so far ahead of the game. But you live and you learn. Again, I digress.
During the training, I learned about something called Reclassification. I’d briefly heard about this in meetings, but didn’t know that it was so important. This week, I found out exactly how important it is.
Reclassification pertains to the ELD program, formerly known as the ESL program. Reclassification is the Holy Grail of ELD (formerly ESL). This is how it works. Upon entering school, a questionnaire is given about the student’s native language. If the parent puts anything besides English, the student is required to take a test- the CELDT, which stands for CA English Language Development Test.
After students take the test, they can either test out as an IFEP, which stands for Initially Fluent English Proficient. However, if the student is not proficient in English, they will be placed @ ELD levels 1-5. The goal of the ELD program is to reclassify or get out of the program by becoming proficient in English. Once they are reclassified, they are considered RFEP- Reclassfied Fluent English Proficient.
The really important fact that I learned this week is that if the students don’t reclassify by Grade 5, they will probably never reclassify. This is not a good thing because according to the presenters at the training, after elementary school, not much attention is given to ELD.
If the student is still in ELD classes in high school, they are not given the chances that others are given; they are not allowed to take college courses; nor do their ELD courses count for any college credit.
As a result of all of this, the students become defeated and give up. At this point, there is no way they can go to a university straight out of high school. So, they eventually give up and drop out. This has very far reaching effects. Not reclassifying is one of the main reasons that students drop out of high school. I cannot remember the numbers, but they were somewhere around 3,000 students starting in K, with only 500 graduating. Sooooo depressing.
If you are a parent and you are reading this and would like to know more, talk to your child’s teacher or ELD Coordinator.
**Here is a link to the ELD standards.