Identifying English Learners

The steps below outline Ohio’s standardized procedures to identify multilingual students who are English learners. School administrators can develop written English learner identification procedures that include staff responsibilities, interpretation resources, and professional development to support students and their multilingual families. An orientation video may be used to help train staff in implementing the identification process.

Step 1: Language Usage Survey

As part of welcoming all new students and their families, Ohio's Language Usage Survey must be completed for every new student to support communication with the family and to identify potential English learners. Schools must identify students who are English learners within 30 days of the student's enrollmentOhio defines enrollment as the date on which the school has both received documentation of enrollment and the student has commenced participation in learning opportunities. 

To assist in communicating the purpose of completing the Language Usage Survey to parents, staff may use the following two-minute video explanations available in 14 languages. These explanations are available on Parents2Partners to supplement interpreters who provide families accessible communication with school staff.

Explanations of the LANGUAGE USAGE SURVEY In languages other than English

Find translations of the Ohio Language Usage Survey below. Supplemental questions can be used to gather additional information to better serve students and families with limited English proficiency. 

Language Usage Survey Translations

Step 2: Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS)

Students who have home or native languages other than English, or who come from environments where languages other than English are spoken, take the Ohio English Language Proficiency Screener (OELPS) that tests the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English. A LUS response that includes a language other than English requires testing English Language Proficiency in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Based on the results of the OELPS, a student may be identified as an English learner.

Parent and Family Notification of English Learner Identification 

Districts and schools that are recipients of Title I funds are required to initially and annually notify the parents and guardians of each student who has been identified as an English learner.

Per the requirements in ESEA sections 1112 (e)(3)(A) and (B), each school that uses funds under either Every Student Succeeds Act Title I or Title III to supplement its language instruction educational program (LIEP) must provide a parent of an English learner (EL) with notification that outlines their child’s identification as an EL and placement in the language instruction educational program. The ESEA requires that this notification be provided no later than 30 calendar days after their enrollment or within the first two weeks of placement in an LIEP for a student who enrolls after the start of the school year.

To support providing meaningful communications to parents and families, templates for the notification letter of EL identification are provided in multiple languages below. For languages not represented, please see the additional guidance and resources that are provided for translation of the parent notification letter to other languages.

Parent notification translations

School and District Considerations

Examples of when the U.S. Department of Education has identified compliance issues in the areas of EL student identification include when school districts:

  1. have no process in place to initially identify the primary or home language of all enrolled students;
  2. poorly administer the Language Usage Survey so that significant numbers of potential EL students are not identified;
  3. do not test the English language proficiency of all students with home languages other than English, resulting in the under-identification of EL students;
  4. delay the assessment of incoming students in a manner that results in a denial of language assistance services; or
  5. do not assess the proficiency of students with home languages other than English in all four language domains.

Last Modified: 7/2/2024 2:39:24 PM