Arizona ELL Program: Eligibility, Placement, and Reassessment

In the state of Arizona, the English Language Learner (ELL) program plays a crucial role in addressing the unique needs of students who’re English language learners. The program aims to provide appropriate educational services to help these students develop their English language proficiency skills, while also ensuring they’ve access to and succeed in the regular curriculum. Eligibility for the ELL program is determined through a comprehensive assessment process, which takes into consideration several factors, including the student's proficiency in English, academic performance, and input from teachers and parents. Once deemed eligible, students are placed in the necessary instructional program that best meets their individual needs. However, the placement of students isn’t a final determination, as regular reassessments are conducted to monitor progress and make adjustments if necessary. These reassessments ensure that students continue to receive the appropriate level of support and instruction needed for their ongoing language development and academic success.

What Is the Demographic of ELL Students in Arizona?

The demographic of English Language Learner (ELL) students in Arizona is a key focus of analysis in this report, encompassing students who were eligible for EL services from 2016 to 202It’s interesting to note that the majority of ELL students in Arizona, accounting for ninety percent of the analyzed population, identify as Hispanic or Latino. This highlights the significant presence and importance of this particular ethnic group within the ELL student community.

Furthermore, an examination of the gender distribution among ELL students reveals that forty-five percent of these students are female. This indicates a relatively balanced representation of male and female students within the ELL category in Arizona. It’s worth noting that the gender breakdown doesn’t significantly deviate from the overall proportion of females across the student population in the state.

This demographic information is crucial for policymakers and educators as it underscores the need for targeted support and resources directed towards this specific population to ensure their academic success and inclusion.

By recognizing the predominance of Hispanic or Latino students and the balanced representation of genders within the ELL community, stakeholders can develop tailored strategies and interventions that promote equitable educational opportunities and linguistic development for all students.

These insights provide valuable information for educational leaders and policymakers to develop targeted initiatives that address the unique needs and promote academic success for this diverse student population in Arizona.

Access to Resources and Support Services for ELL Students in Arizona

  • English Language Learner (ELL) programs that provide language support and instruction
  • Specialized teachers and staff trained in supporting ELL students
  • English as a Second Language (ESL) classes
  • Bilingual education programs
  • English Language Development (ELD) curriculum and materials
  • Individualized support plans for ELL students
  • Language and cultural resources for students and families
  • Parent and community involvement programs for ELL students
  • Access to tutoring and academic support services
  • Professional development opportunities for educators working with ELL students
  • Collaboration with community organizations and agencies to provide additional resources and support
  • Assessment and evaluation tools to monitor ELL students’ progress and identify areas of need
  • Transition support for ELL students entering or exiting language programs
  • Advocacy and awareness efforts to ensure equitable access to resources and support services for ELL students

Once students are identified as potentially needing English language support, the next step is to determine their eligibility for an ELL program. This involves conducting a home language survey and an English language proficiency test. Based on the results of these assessments, students who’re deemed non-English proficient are then placed in an ELL program.

What Is the Process Used to Determine ELL Program Eligibility Placement and Reassessment?

The process for determining ELL program eligibility placement and reassessment varies slightly from district to district, but generally follows a similar pattern. It begins with a home language survey, which is typically administered to all incoming students or at the time of enrollment. This survey asks questions about the languages spoken at home and the students proficiency in these languages. If a language other than English is reported, it triggers further assessment.

The next step is to administer an English language proficiency test, such as the WIDA ACCESS test or the LAS Links assessment. These tests evaluate the students abilities in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in English. The results of this assessment determine the students initial eligibility for ELL services. If the student demonstrates limited English proficiency, they’re placed in an ELL program.

The progress of the student is continuously assessed through ongoing formative assessments, which can include classroom observations, informal conversations, and written work. Additionally, periodic summative assessments, such as benchmark tests or standardized assessments, may be used to gather more comprehensive data on the students progress.

Reassessment to determine ongoing eligibility for ELL services usually occurs annually, although it may happen more frequently for students who demonstrate rapid language acquisition. The reassessment process typically involves administering the same English language proficiency test that was used for initial placement, or an equivalent assessment. The students progress and growth in English language proficiency are measured against specific proficiency levels or benchmarks to determine if they continue to require ELL services.

The assessment evaluates students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in English, ensuring that their language proficiency aligns with state and federal standards. AZELLA serves as a crucial tool for determining placement in English language development programs and tracking students’ progress over time. By assessing these key language domains, educators can provide targeted support to English language learners to help them thrive academically.

What Is Arizona’s English Language Proficiency Assessment?

It assesses students in four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The assessment is administered annually to all students identified as English language learners (ELLs) in Arizona schools. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the students level of English language proficiency and to ensure that they receive appropriate language support services.

AZELLA is designed to measure students proficiency in English across four proficiency levels: Pre-Emergent, Emergent, Basic, and Proficient. Each level corresponds to specific language abilities and skills. The assessment includes both multiple-choice and open-ended questions to evaluate students understanding, communication, and comprehension skills in English.

Based on their proficiency level, students may be placed in different language support programs, such as English Language Development (ELD) classes or Structured English Immersion (SEI) programs. These programs provide targeted instruction and support to help students improve their English language skills.

In addition to placement purposes, AZELLA is also used for reassessment to monitor students progress and determine if they’re ready to exit the English language support programs. Students who demonstrate sufficient growth and proficiency may be reclassified as fluent English proficient (FEP) and no longer require additional language support services.

It plays a crucial role in identifying students needs, placing them in the right language support programs, and monitoring their progress towards English language proficiency.

The History and Development of AZELLA: Explore the Origins of the English Language Proficiency Assessment in Arizona, Including When It Was First Implemented, Any Changes or Updates That Have Been Made Over the Years, and the Rationale Behind the Assessment.

  • Origins of AZELLA
  • First implementation date
  • Changes and updates over the years
  • Rationale behind the assessment

Source: AZELLA DTCs | Arizona Department of Education


Through it’s comprehensive eligibility determination process, accurate placement of students is ensured, enabling them to receive appropriate support and instruction tailored to their language proficiency levels. The ongoing reassessment component further guarantees that students' language development progress is regularly evaluated, allowing for timely adjustments in instructional strategies and intervention if necessary.

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