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English Language Development

The Purpose:

Arizona requires school districts and charter schools (otherwise known as Local Education Agencies or LEAs) with English learner (EL) students to provide English language development (ELD) instruction using a structured English immersion (SEI) model. This SEI Model Implementation Guide provides details on how LEAs will enact Arizona’s Language Development Approach (LDA) and its four principles into practice, specifically in connection to the four Arizona Department of Education approved SEI Models. (ARS - 15-752.)


Registration, Eligibility Determination, and Placement:

During registration proceedings and first weeks of school, students who have affirmed in a home language survey to speak languages other than English in the home may be eligible for English Language Development services. The student will receive an English fluency assessment or review of prior assessment results within the first 30 days of the first day of school. The assessment (AZELLA) will be given in that 30-day window. If the student’s records indicate updated assessment data is needed, students will be offered the assessment as well [A.R.S. §15-756(B)].

Students new to the district following the first weeks of school will be offered the same assessment and eligibility determination within the first 10 days of their enrollment. Students transferring from another district shall receive an eligibility determination. Prior testing and placement status (EL 70 report) will be reviewed. If the review warrants updated data, an AZELLA will be given. 


AZELLA Assessment:

The Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA) is a standards-based assessment that meets both state and federal requirements to measure students’ English language proficiency. AZELLA is used for both placement and reassessment purposes. Students who have been identified as second language learners on the Home Language Survey take the AZELLA placement test, and the students’ proficiency scores determine appropriate placement for instruction. Students who have been placed into an English language learner program will also take the AZELLA reassessment once per year until they achieve proficiency. Students who have scored proficient on the AZELLA are then moved into a mainstream classroom and monitored for two years to help ensure success.  


Language Development: A Comprehensive Approach (LDA):

CRUSHD delivers a comprehensive and visionary approach according to ADE learning standards and federal guidance. Effective instruction is at the heart of any educational program, including those for ELs. Although some specific practices may vary depending on the SEI Model being implemented, many evidence-based practices for ELs cut across programs and can be effectively applied and adapted in any of the four SEI models. The instructional blueprint for SEI targets skills in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking across content areas including English, math, science and social studies. This new comprehensive approach presents a new vision of learner progress. 


Principle One: Asset-Based Behaviors & Expectations:

English language learners bring rich linguistic resources and cultural knowledge with them to the school environment. 


Principle Two: Integrated Instruction in Disciplinary Language & Content:

Instructors use scaffolded support, academic language development, collaborative discussions while guiding English language learners and developing disciplinary content knowledge, language, and autonomy. The teachers implement a cross curricular approach using Performance Indicators from the ELP Standards and grade level content standards to support language needed for successful content learning.


Principle Three: Targeted & Explicit Language Instruction:

Explicit language instruction, or English Language Development (ELD), is a critical opportunity to intentionally support English learner (EL) students in developing the discourse practices they need to engage with rigorous, grade-level disciplinary content.

Principle Four: Assessment, Monitoring & Feedback:

Districts and schools use English Language Proficiency Standards, diagnostic tools, formative assessment practices, and summative assessments to measure progress of English learner (EL) students’ language and content knowledge to inform instruction. With regular assessment practices the EL learners are afforded the opportunity to set their own goals, self-evaluate, and track their own progress.

Structured English Immersion (SEI) MODEL: 

During initial considerations, and Under SB1014, local education agencies (LEAs) must either implement one of the four Structured English Immersion (SEI) Models that have been approved by the state. CRUHSD has selected a model that best fits the overall academic plan for high school aged children and graduation credit goals. (A.R.S. §). State statute requires a minimum and a minimum of 100 minutes daily/500 minutes weekly during the school year for grades 6-12. 


Graph for Two-Hour SEI Model


Students with special needs:

During the EL eligibility determination process a MET team may determine a student has learning disabilities that need to be serviced. If a child is determined to require dual services, the Team will develop a plan for meeting the student’s academic performance goals. 

Dual-labeled students, which are EL students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), are still required to receive the same Targeted and Integrated ELD services and minutes, which can be met by a qualified Special Education teacher with an SEI/ESL/BLI endorsement or completed SEI coursework. During the EL eligibility determination process a MET team shall determine the best method of meeting the student’s academic performance goals. (Identifying and Supporting English Learners with Disabilities). 


Post SEI Progress Monitoring:

A continuing English Language Learner (ELL) may be reassessed for the purpose of determining English language proficiency at any time, but shall be reassessed at least annually at the end of the school year.

A student who has scored English proficiency on the AZELLA shall be transferred to an English language mainstream classroom. 


Parents/Guardians will be notified that their child has been reclassified as FEP when the student meets requirements for reclassification and a dated copy of the notification will be placed in the student’s cumulative file.


Reclassified ELL students will be reassessed in each of two years following a student’s exit to determine whether these students are performing satisfactorily in achieving the Arizona Academic Standards adopted by the Board.


The areas of reassessment are reading and writing skills, math skills and mastery of academic content areas, including science and social studies.


Every effort will be made to accommodate reclassified ELL students to achieve satisfactory progress in the two years following a student’s exit from the ELL program.  Students who are not making satisfactory progress in the two years following their reclassification (as evaluated by one or more of the criteria) will be re-enrolled in an ELL Program or given compensatory education, upon parental consent.  A Written Individual Compensatory Plan (WICP) describing the compensatory instruction provided will be maintained in the students’ ELL files.  Instruction will focus on the skill or knowledge deficits revealed by the reassessment results.