Welcome to ESL Portal PA!
The ESL Portal PA is an online resource of professional learning opportunities and instructional materials that supports Pennsylvania educators and community organizations as they strive to provide equitable, high quality educational programs for English learners and their families. The portal also links to updated federal and state guidance, current educational research, instructional practice and more.
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The 2021 English Language Development Virtual Professional Learning Summit is a unique opportunity for educators to engage in knowledge sharing, critical analysis, and re-visioning of educational policies and practices for the purpose of ensuring equity for English learners in a multilingual world.
2021 summit themes include family engagement and community partnerships; instructional practices for promoting student achievement in K-12; educational data collection, analysis and use; educational policy and leadership; strategies that foster social emotional learning and student resiliency; and social justice education.
To be eligible to register for the 2021 ELD Virtual Summit, you must be a current employee of a Pennsylvania LEA or higher education institution and register with an organization-affiliated email address.
Registration will be available in early 2021. There is no registration fee to attend this professional learning summit.
The 2021 ELD Virtual Professional Learning Summit is presented by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and coordinated by the Center for Schools and Communities, a division of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit.
Online Self-Paced Tutorials
This PDE-developed interactive self-paced online tutorial covers the screening, identification, and placement of ELs. It walks through the procedure in detail for both pre-K and K-12 outlined in the guidance documents. It is designed for all personnel who are involved in the enrollment process for ELs and any other educators or administrators who wish to learn more about the process. Educators who complete this course may receive Act 48 credit for doing so. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.
Estimated time to complete: 2 hours
This PDE-developed interactive self-paced tutorial provides an overview of all responsibilities associated with the role of District/School EL Coordinator. It provides participants with a self-assessment and plan template in each area to help fulfill these responsibilities. It also supplies links to associated guidance documents, systems needed to perform necessary tasks, and personnel who provide can support and assistance. It is intended for educators who are new to the position, but it can also serve as a refresher for those who have held the position for some time. Educators who complete this course may receive Act 48 credit for doing so. A certificate will be awarded upon completion.
Estimated time to complete: 2 hours
The English Language Proficiency Indicator is one of two on-track measures, along with Chronic Absenteeism (reported as Regular Attendance), that also serves as federal accountability indicators. This indicator provides a view of English learner growth toward, and on-time attainment of, English language proficiency as measured by the ACCESS for ELLs. English learners are expected to attain proficiency in English within a six-year span; however, this timeline can be less depending on initial proficiency level. Performance on this indicator will be calculated and depicted for all schools that meet the minimum student group size of 20 eligible English learners.
ELD Resource Guide for School Administrators
The Pennsylvania Department of Education, in partnership with the Center for Schools and Communities, is excited to announce the publication of a new ELD resource guide for school administrators. Supporting English Learners’ Success: A Practical Guide for Administrators is an easy-to-read practical guidebook that contains helpful information to assist administrators in implementing successful Language Instruction Educational Programs (LIEPs) in their buildings. The Guide contains detailed information on four broad components of any effective LIEP: Complying with State Regulations, Recruiting and Training Qualified Faculty and Staff, Facilitating Collaboration, and Engaging Families and Communities. Each section contains an overview of applicable policy and research followed by suggested strategies and best practices for implementation. The Guide concludes with a series of checklists that principals, in conjunction with the EL instructional team, can use to conduct self-assessments and gather data that can inform the development of action plans to improve or strengthen their school’s LIEP program implementation.
- Dear Colleague Letter, January 7, 2017 (ED, Office for Civil Rights, and DOJ, Civil Rights Division)
- English Learner Tool Kit, Chapter 7: Tools and Resources for Serving English Learners Who Opt-Out of EL Programs (ED, Office of English Language Acquisition)
Research Brief: Building Support for English Language Learners: Strategies for Creating a School Culture of Academic Success
This research brief released by Center for Schools and Communities with funding provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, identifies key strategies that principals and other educational leaders can use to foster collaboration among ESL specialists and content/classroom teachers that support the academic achievement of English learners. Co-authors, Karin Sprow Forté, D.Ed., and Denise G. Meister, Ph.D highlight school based strategies which include: providing dedicated time for collaboration, creating a culture and context for collaboration, and using professional learning to foster collaboration. Also recommendations that build positive school culture and environment, along with common pitfalls and limitations are detailed.
Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Mission for the Education of English Language Learners
Provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of education which includes the provision of quality, culturally-responsive and equitable educational programs for English learners and assurance of their appropriate participation in all aspects of the educational system. The Department ensures that its programs address the needs and rights of English learners in all its initiatives throughout the entire process of planning and implementation.
Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Vision for the Education of English Language Learners
The Department promotes the recognition of these students and their parents as cultural and linguistic assets to the Commonwealth’s global initiatives. The Department is committed to using its Standards Aligned System (SAS) to ensure that English learners receive core curriculum instruction and achieve high levels of academic success.