State regulation, 22 Pa. Code § 4.26, declares that Pennsylvania’s local education agencies (LEA) must provide a program for each student whose dominant language is not English for the purpose of facilitating the student’s achievement of English proficiency and the academic standards. This language instruction educational program encompasses (1) planned instruction by a qualified English as a Second Language (ESL)/Bilingual teacher, (2) adaptations/modifications in the delivery of content instruction by all teachers based on the student’s language proficiency level and the Pennsylvania Language Proficiency Standards (PA ELPS) for English learners (EL) as well as the Pennsylvania Academic Standards.
Therefore, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) provides professional learning opportunities in a variety of platforms delivered by national, state, and local experts. These sessions assist LEA in developing the capacity of educators, both ESL and content, to deliver rigorous, standards based, culturally responsive instruction and assessment that is meaningful and comprehensible to EL. This professional learning ensures that EL meet the same rigorous standards as all students are expected to meet, attain high levels of academic success and graduate ready for college and/or career.