A glossary of key terms found in the Language and Cultural Equity department.
Essential Definitions and Acronyms
ITS: Instructional Technology Services
Language Majority Student: A native English-speaking student from dominant culture (i.e., Anglo American from homes where only English is used to communicate).
Language Minority Students (LMS): Public school students whose primary or home language is other than English—several types exist in APS: a) Hispanic and Indian students who have lost their heritage languages and who use only English to communicate; b) Hispanic and Indian students who maintain a level of their heritage languages and English; c) Immigrant students who arrive with basic education in their home languages (i.e., Russian, Hmong, Polish, Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, etc.); d) Immigrant students who have not developed literacy skills in their home languages.
Language Proficiency: A measure of how well an individual can speak, read, write, and comprehend a language, comparable to the standard expected for native speakers of the language.
LAS: Language Assessment Scale—a test currently used by APS to determine a student’s English Language Proficiency (there is also a Spanish LAS to determine a student’s proficiency in Spanish).
LEP: Limited English Proficient—PHLOTE students who are unable to speak, read, write, and understand the English language at levels comparable to their grade-level English proficient peers as determined by objective measures of proficiency normed for language minority students. This designation includes non-English proficient students (NEP).
Linguistically and Culturally Different Students: “Are those persons who are of a different cultural background than the majority culture of the state and whose native tongues of a language other than the language of the majority culture within the state . . . “ (Public School Code, Article 23; Sec. 22-23-2).
Maintenance Bilingual Education (MBE): A program of bilingual education for bilingual students that has as its goal the maintenance and further development of all aspects of the home language and English.
Monolingual: The ability to communicate in only one language.
Native/Home Language Instruction: a) Native/Home language development (i.e., Spanish language arts that develops literacy skills in Spanish; b) Content area instruction delivered in native/home language of the students (i.e., Social Studies taught in Spanish).
NEP: Non-English Proficient—PHLOTE students who are unable to speak, read, write, and understand the English language.
OCR: Office for Civil Rights—Federal agency in the U.S. Department of Education whose primary function is to monitor the application of the Civil Rights Act and ensure that all students are afforded the opportunity to an equal education and are not excluded from participation in the educational program offered by the district.
PHLOTE: Primary or Home Language Other Than English—Term used by the OCR to identify students whose first-learned language is other than English.
RDA: Research, Development, and Accountability
SIS: Student Information System
SDE: State Department of Education
Second Language (L2): The second language acquired.
Sheltered English Instruction: An instructional approach to make subject matter understandable in which teachers explain concepts in the content areas using strategies which include (among others): a) Emphasis on key concepts and vocabulary; b) Enhanced use of visuals, context and other non-verbal cues, and higher order thinking skills. Although this approach may help students keep up in core academic areas, sheltered English instruction is neither regular instruction nor an alternative language program.
SSL: Spanish as a Second Language – Spanish taught to students whose first language is not Spanish.
TLC: Teaching & Learning Center
Terra Nova: A standardized test of basic skills given to 3rd – 9th graders in New Mexico.
Title VII, ESEA, Bilingual Education: A federal law that provides funding to school districts for bilingual education, language enhancement, and language acquisition programs.
Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE): A program of bilingual education for LEP students that has as its goal the transfer of students from home language instruction to an all English curriculum. This usually occurs after three years.
TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (also known as ESL).
Two-Way Dual Language immersion: A program of bilingual education for language majority and minority students where at least 50 percent of the instruction is provided in a language other than English and where bilingualism and biliteracy is the goal.