California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Interventions for Bilingual Students

Effective schools place English learner students in intensive English language development (ELD) classes based on levels of academic literacy. In the past, schools often placed English learner (EL) students in tracked or remedial classes rather than in intensive academic interventions designed to move them toward proficiency. Many of these EL students will not ask for help because they feel that the academic language in the class is hopelessly above their grasp. In addition, remedial teachers often lack specific skills in ELD.

These students benefit from instruction using state-adopted Intensive Intervention Programs for EL students. These stand-alone programs provide two and one-half hours to three hours of daily instruction developed specifically for EL students in grades four through eight whose academic achievement is two or more years below grade level. These stand-alone reading/language arts intervention programs address literacy and language development. The California Department of Education designed the materials to provide intensive, accelerated, and extensive ELD that complements and supports reading/language arts instruction.

Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 provides federal financial support to state and local educational agencies for two programs:

According to Title I regulations, state educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and schools are required to hold limited English-proficient students to the same academic content and achievement standards established for all children. Additionally, EL students must meet annual English language development objectives (Title I, Section 1111[b][1], and Title III, Section 3122[a][1]). For more on accountability, refer to Recommendation 11—Accountability.

Some interventions for English learners are used successfully in the following schools:

In the Spotlight

Kennedy Middle School, El Centro Elementary School District, a 2005 Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage Model School
Because of a large EL population, the school focus is on language development. During sixth period, all students meet in language ability groupings and rotate to a class taught at their level. Both an extended day program and rotating block schedule help to provide the needed classes, and teachers convey the expectation that struggling students stay after school.

Robert A. Millikan Middle School (PDF; Outside Source) and Performing Arts Magnet, Los Angeles Unified School District, a 2005 Schools to Watch™-Taking Center Stage Model School
The learning center for EL students includes a resource teacher and aides who offer focused interventions. In addition, the school hired outside specialists to create an intervention class during homeroom/nutrition.

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