In the 2010–11 school year, there were approximately 1.4 million English learners in California public schools, nearly the same level as in 2009–10. The CDE provides assistance to local schools and districts to achieve the following goals:
- Ensure that English learners acquire full proficiency in English as rapidly and effectively as possible and attain parity with native speakers of English.
- Ensure that English learners, within a reasonable period of time, achieve the same rigorous grade-level academic standards that are expected of all students.
Meeting these two goals will help close the achievement gap that separates English learners from their native English-speaking peers. In order to accomplish these goals, all English learners are provided with English language development (ELD) instruction targeted to their English proficiency level and appropriate academic instruction in one of three settings:
- Structured English Immersion (SEI)—A classroom setting where English learners who have not yet acquired reasonable fluency in English, as defined by the school district, receive instruction through an English language acquisition process, in which nearly all classroom instruction is in English but with a curriculum and presentation designed for children who are learning the language.
- English Language Mainstream (ELM)—A classroom setting for English learners who have acquired reasonable fluency in English, as defined by the school district. In addition to ELD instruction, English learners continue to receive additional and appropriate educational services in order to recoup any academic deficits that may have been incurred in other areas of the core curriculum as a result of language barriers.
- Alternative Program (Alt)—A language acquisition process in which English learners receive ELD instruction targeted to their English proficiency level and academic subjects are taught in the primary language, as defined by the school district. Placement in an alternative program is triggered by the parents through a parental exception waiver.
Basic Facts—California Language Census: Spring 2011
Please note, for 2010–11 the source of English learner (EL) and fluent-English-proficient (FEP) data changed from the Language Census to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). Twenty seven percent of local educational agencies (LEAs), however, did not submit EL and FEP data through CALPADS. For these LEAs, we obtained EL data from the Language Census; however, the Language Census did not collect detailed EL data by grade and language and did not collect FEP data. Therefore, the data listed below may not be complete and is from two different sources, so totals in one area will not match totals in another area.
English learners are a significant portion of California public school students:
- The 1,441,387 English learners constitute 23.2 percent of the total enrollment in California public schools.
- A total of 2,325,748 students speak a language other than English in their homes. This number represents about 37.4 percent of the state’s public school enrollment.
- The majority of English learners (71 percent) are enrolled in the elementary grades, kindergarten through grade six. The rest (29 percent) are enrolled in the secondary grades, seven through twelve; and less than 1 percent are in the ungraded category.
Although English learner data are collected for 59 language groups, 94 percent speak one of the top ten languages in the state:
- Spanish: 82.7 percent
- Vietnamese: 2.7 percent
- Cantonese: 1.7 percent
- Pilipino (Filipino or Tagalog): 1.6 percent
- Hmong: 1.2 percent
- Mandarin: 1.1 percent
- Korean: 1.0 percent
- Arabic: 0.9 percent
- Punjabi: 0.7 percent
- Russian: 0.6 percent
English learners are placed in specific instructional program settings in accordance with the statutes and regulations established by Proposition 227:
- A total of 700,291 (48.6 percent) English learners are enrolled in Structured English Instruction (SEI) settings.
There are1,421,583 English learners who receive various combinations of different instructional program settings regardless of program placements:
- A total of 111,698 receive only ELD instruction in addition to the regular school program.
- A total of 888,104 receive at least one period of ELD and two periods of specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE) and sheltered instruction in subjects such as mathematics or social science in addition to the regular school offerings.
- A total of 258,165 receive, in addition to ELD and SDAIE, at least two periods of subject matter instruction facilitated by primary language support.
- A total of 71,809 receive, in addition to ELD and often in combination with SDAIE and/or primary language support, at least two subject matter periods taught through primary language instruction.
- A total of 91,807 receive English learner instructional services other than those described above.
- A total of 20,318 English learners do not receive any instructional services required for English learners.
English learners are taught by a wide range of instructional staff:
- A total of 4,793 teachers hold a bilingual teaching authorization and are assigned to provide primary language instruction.
- A total of 197,683 teachers hold a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) credential, certificate, or authorization to provide ELD and/or SDAIE instruction.
- A total of 13,671 bilingual paraprofessionals were assigned to teachers in order to provide primary language support or instruction to English learners.
Contact the English Learner Accountability Unit with questions regarding state and federal legal requirements at 916-319-0938; the Language Policy and Leadership Office for program policy questions, at 916-319-0845; or the Educational Demographics Office for data collection questions at 916-327-0219. Additional information is available on the CDE English Learners [http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el] Web page. To access the CDE’s database containing demographic information on language-minority students, visit the CDE DataQuest [http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/] Web site.