ELAC » English Learners

English Learners


English learner identification begins at enrollment. As part of the enrollment process, every parent or guardian fills out the Home Language Survey (HLS) which consists of the questions below. A home language determination is required only once. The information provided by the parent/guardian on the initial HLS takes precedence over any information provided on subsequent surveys.

  1. What language did the student learn when he or she first began to talk?
  2. What language does this student most frequently use at home?
  3. What language do you use most frequently to speak to this student?
  4. Which language is most often used by the adults at home?


If the answers to any of the first three questions on the HLS indicate a language other than English, or a combination of English and another language, the child is assessed to measure his or her level of English proficiency using the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) and may be identified as an English learner.

If the parent’s response to the first three questions on the HLS is English, and the response to the fourth question is other than English, then reasonable doubt may exist as to the student’s home language. The school’s administration/designee must research the student’s home language background using the following indicators, as well as consultation with the student’s parent:

  • Parent/guardian requires an interpreter to communicate in English
  • Parent/guardian speaks to their child in a language other than English
  • The HLS is completed in a language other than English (including spelling the word ―English in another language; e.g. ingles)
  • Student initiates interaction with their parents/guardians in a language other than English
  • It is revealed that the child, while their parent/guardian is at work, is under the care of a person(s) who speaks a language other than English
  • Student, after having been enrolled in the Mainstream English Program designed for students with fluent-English proficiency for a reasonable length of time, demonstrates a lack of comprehension regarding instruction and classroom/school routines conducted in English

If a student is considered a potential English learner based on the HLS responses, the student is administered the Initial ELPAC. If a student passes the ELPAC, they will be considered initially fluent English proficient (IFEP). If the student does not pass the ELPAC, they are considered an English learner (EL) and will receive extra support in a designated English Language Development (dELD) class during the school day.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Ms. Smith at [email protected].