Bilingual/ESL Education Glossary
Acculturation Process of learning aspects of a culture other than one's
own, influenced primarily by schools.
Affective Filter: Process whereby a person learns to adapt to new
surroundings through low anxiety and emotional support to incorporate social
and cultural ideas and traditions and to become part of the new culture
without losing his/her own sense of self worth as he/she gains new social and
cultural ideas and traditions.
Alternative Assessment: Analysis and reporting of student performance
using sources that differ from traditional objective responses, such as
standardized and norm-referenced tests. Alternative assessments include
portfolios, performance-based tasks, and checklists.
Assimilation Complete absorption of the characteristics and the behaviors of
the other culture.
Bicultural Refers to the successful integration of two (or more) separate
aspects of one's cultural identity. Maintaining various components of one's
cultural identity and effectively expressing them at the appropriate times can
be important bicultural skms.
An educational approach that uses two languages of instruction for students
who are LEP. Bilingual-Bicultural education means the cultures associated
with the primary and secondary language are incorporated into the
curriculum. Developmental Bilingual education builds and develops native
language literacy and extends that literacy to students' second language
(English). Transitional Bilingual Education provides students with all or most
of their content-based instruction in their native language while learning
English as a second language. Two-way Bilingual educations program model
to integrate students whose native language is English with those for whom
English is a second language for the purpose of developing bilingualism in
both Ianguages of students. Submersion Bilingual education 'sink or swim"
places students in a totally English language environment without using their
native language and related literacy experiences as a basis for instruction.
Bilingual Education Act The federal statute passed in 1968 as Title VII of
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which provided federal support
for bilingual education programs.
Bilingualism The ability to use two languages for effective communication.
A balanced bilingual is one who can use two languages comfortably and
Bilingual-Bicultural Education Program A program designed to improve
the comprehension and the speaking, reading, and writing ability of a
limited-EngIish proficient pupil in the English language, so that the pupil will
be able to perform ordinary class work in English. (s. 115.955 (2), Wisconsin
Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS): The language ability
required for face-to-face communication where linguistic interactions are
embedded in a situational context; for example, children acquire BICS from
their playmates, the media, and day-to-day experiences. BICS are generally
more easily acquired than cognitive academic language proficiency
Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP): Language proficiency
associated with schooling and the abstract language abilities required for
academic work. A more complex, conceptual, linguistic ability that includes
analysis, synthesis and evaluation. (Echevarria, Voght, Short, 2000)
Cloze Reading: A test or exercise of reading comprehension in which the
student is asked to supply words systemically removed from the text.
Cognates: Related in origin-word parts that are similar in different
languages because they are derived from the same root.
Comprehensible Input: Making adjustments to speech, providing gestures,
pictures, visuals, films, and other media so that the message to the student
is understandable; one of the components of the Sheltered Instruction
Context Embedded : Natural usage of a language so that meaning of new
words is derived through the context of the situation or text.
CALP-Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, a term used by Jim
Cummins, to refer to advanced oral and written skills that a person needs to
be successful in school-examples include the ability to participate actively in
a discussion on a social studies unit, to engage in a debate, to write a
composition, to interpret the figurative meaning of a written passage.
Dominant Language: The language in which the speaker has greater
proficiency and/or uses more often.
Dialect A regional or social variety of a language which is characterized by
specific linguistic features (such as pronunciation, grammar, and discourse
Enculturation Process of learning one's own culture, influenced primarily by
home and family.
Entry Criteria Those means used to identify potential LEP students and to
assess their language and cognitive strengths and weaknesses in order to
determine which students should be placed in a bilingual program. (Ohio
Department of Education, 1986)
EFL/TEFL English as a foreign language and Teaching English as a Foreign
Language refer to situations where English is taught to persons living in
countries where English is not the medium of instruction in the schools,
where English is taught as a subject, and where exposure to English is
typically limited to the classroom setting.
ESL English as a second language.
ELA: English Language Arts
ELL: English Language Learners—students whose first language is other than
English and who are in the process of learning English. Programs focus on
these student’s accomplishments.
ESL: English as a Second Language—educational approach in which LEP
students are instructed in to become literate in English.
ELD: English Language Development
English Proficient: A student who is not a native speaker, but who
can function in English at an acceptable level to achieve in class and
on standardized tests.
Fishbone Graph: A flow chart or diagram much like the framework for
diagramming sentences in English grammar.
FL: Foreign language
Jigsaw: A text reading technique designed as a cooperative learning activity
for all students. A “group” is assigned to read a section of the text. As a
group, the students read the section; they discuss what was read,
determining the essential information and key vocabulary; the group reports
its findings to the rest of the class (who takes notes).
KWL Chart: A graphic organizer for reading and gathering information. K –
What do we know? W – What do we want to find out? L – What did we learn?
Language Minority: In the US speakers who speak a language other than
English—individuals living in households in which a language other than
English is spoken. A language minority child may be bilingual, limited-English
proficient, or English monolingual.
L1: The native language or the first language that the person acquires; also
mother tongue, heritage language.
L2: The second language that a person acquires, following the acquisition of
the first language.
LEP: Limited English Proficient Student—the term used by the federal
government, most states, and local school districts to identify those students
who have insufficient English to succeed in English-only classrooms (Lessow-
A limited-English-proficient student is an individual, age 3 to 21, who is
enrolled (or about to enroll) in a U.S. elementary or secondary school and
meets these two requirements.
1. Belongs to one of the following categories:
• Was not born in the United States or speaks a native language other
• Is a Native American, Alaska Native, or native resident of outlying
areas and comes from an environment where a language other than
English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English
language proficiency; or
• Is migratory, speaks a native language other than English, and
comes from an environment where a language other than English is
2. May be unable, because of difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or
understanding the English language, to:
• Score at the proficient level on state assessments of academic
• Learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is
• or Participate fully in society.
Language instruction educational program: LIEP is a course of
instruction for LEP students that may use both English and the students’
native language – or English alone – “for the purpose of developing English
proficiency while meeting challenging State academic content and student
academic achievement standards.” The goal of cultivating fluent bilingualism
and biliteracy, which IASA made explicit for the first time in 1994, is
But the definition includes a proviso that will allow support for dual language
immersion approaches. A “language instruction educational program” may
include English-proficient students for the purpose of “enabl[ing] all
participating children to become proficient in English
and a second language.” In other words, if native English speakers
participate in a Title III-funded program, it may promote the goal of
bilingualism for all students.
Language Proficiency: The level at which an individual is able to
demonstrate the use of language for both communicative tasks and academic
Linguistically and Culturally Diverse: Used to identify individuals from
homes and communities where English is not the primary language of
communication (Garcia, 1991).
LPAC: Language Proficiency Assessment Committee
Metacognitive Objectives: Objectives that imply awareness, reflection, and
interaction, and are used in strategies that are integrated, inter-related, and
recursive in manner.
Native Language: Primary or first language spoken by an individual.
NABE National Association for Bilingual Education
Native language The first language that a person learns as a member of a
certain cultural group.
National Origin Includes pupils whose first language is other than English
and who are limited-English proficient.
Natural Approach Focuses on teaching communicative skills, both oral and
written. Based primarily on Krashen's theory of language acquisition.
NCLB: No Child Left Behind Act
Newcomer Programs: Used by some districts to describe ESL programs
developed for newly-arriving immigrant students.
Paralanguage: In speech, the parts of language other than words that
make up specific speech patterns of a person; i.e., pitch, volume, tone, etc.
Partner Reading: A scaffolding technique where an English Language
Learner is paired with a more experienced reader to read through a part of
the reading assignment.
Realia: Real-life objects that enable students to make connections to their
own lives; for example, a bank deposit slip and a check register for a unit on
RPTE: Reading Proficiency Test in English
Rubric: A statement that describes indicators of performance that include
scoring criteria, on a continuum; may be described as “developmental” (e.g.
emergent, beginning, developing, proficient) or “evaluative” (e.g.
exceptional, thorough, adequate, inadequate).
Schema: A diagrammatic outline or representation (graphic organizer,
fishbone graph, Venn diagram); a person’s understanding/perception of the
Schemata: The plural of schema.
SDAIE: Sheltered English: Specifically Designed Academic Instruction in
Sheltered Instruction: An approach to teaching that extends the time
students have for receiving English language support while they learn
content subjects. Sheltered instruction classrooms, which may include a mix
of native English speakers and English language learners (ELLs) or only ELLs,
integrate language and content while infusing sociocultural awareness.
Teachers scaffold instruction to aid student comprehension of content topics
and objectives by adjusting their speech and instructional tasks, and by
providing appropriate background information and experiences. The ultimate
goal is accessibility for ELLs to grade-level content standards and concepts
while they continue to improve their English language proficiency.
(Echevarria, Vogt, and Short, 2000).
Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol: An explicit model of
sheltered instruction that can be implemented by teachers of students with
limited English proficiency in order to improve academic success.
SLANT Strategy: Sit up – Lean forward – Activate your thinking – Name key
information – Track the talker is a listening strategy based on the ideal that if
students participate in positive ways, they enhance their relationship with the
teacher that leads to a higher quality of education.
TAKS: Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, which replaces the TAAS
and which is TEKS-based. Implementation is 2002-2003.
TEKS: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which replaced the essential
elements and gives specific skills and knowledge that must be taught at each
grade level for each subject in which students receive instruction.
TPR: Total Physical Response is a language learning approach based on the
relationship between language and its physical representation or execution.
Emphasizes the use of physical activity for increasing meaningful learning
opportunities and language retention. A TPR lesson involves a detailed series
of consecutive actions accompanied by a series of commands or instructions
given by the teacher. Students respond by listening and performing the
appropriate actions (Asher, 1981).
Word Wall: A study technique using paper or poster or wall chart where
words relevant to the content of the lesson being delivered are written so
that students may refer to the words or use them in writing or speaking
(adapted from Region 20 ESC and NCELA Glossary)