Purpose of Title III
English as a Second Language (ESL) shall be taught to enable English Learners (ELs) to become competent in the listening, speaking, reading, and writing of the English language. The program shall emphasize mastery of English language skills and content area concepts and skills so students are able to participate eﬀectively in the regular academic program and to reach their full potential.
Legal Obligations to Serve ELs
The legal obligation to serve ELs can be found in the Equal Education Opportunities Act, Lau v. Nichols, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Plyler v. Doe, Casteneda v. Pickard, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and many others. ELs have the same rights to Advanced Placement college preparation courses, Gifted and Talented programs, Special Education services, extracurricular activities, etc.
Identification of ELs
Every child enrolled in Alabama schools is to be given a Home Language Survey (HLS). If a language other than English is provided on the survey, students in Grades K-12 are assessed for English proficiency using the WIDA Screener or the WIDA ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT) for kindergarten. This screening tool is used to determine whether a child is eligible for English language instructional services.