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Qualifying for English Learner (EL) Services


At the time of registration, families must complete a Home Language Survey (HLS). On this survey, there are two questions related to language use in the home. If a family answers YES to either question, the student’s English language proficiency is tested.

  • Is another language other than English spoken in your home?
  • Does your child speak another language other than English?

This screening process of English language proficiency is required by law for all school districts in Illinois. It is your child’s right to be screened and receive support if he or she qualifies for English Learner services.


The state of Illinois sets the cutoff scores for English language proficiency. When students do not meet proficiency as designated by the state, they have the right to receive English language support. Qualifying students are placed into an English Learner program.


Qualifying English Learners must be assessed annually with the state required assessment. This assessment measures students’ level of English proficiency and growth in English acquisition and academic vocabulary. English Learners must take this test every year until they no longer qualify, according to the state of Illinois. Once a student is identified as an English Learner, the only way of exiting the program is to meet English language proficiency criteria on this annual assessment, as set by the state of Illinois.