skip navigation

Glossary of Terms

Linguistics & Diversity Glossary



ACCESS is a state required standards based English language proficiency test, that aligns to the Illinois’ college-and-career readiness standards, designed to measure English language learners' social and academic proficiency in English. Students who score an overall composite score of 4.8 or higher are considered English proficient and are eligible to exit the EL program. 


English Learner


English Language Learner


English Language Proficiency


English as a Second Language

Home Language Survey (HLS)

Form that parents or guardians are required to complete as a part of the registration process to identify students of non-English background.

Language Dominance

Language Dominance refers to the measurement of the degree of bilingualism, which implies a comparison of the proficiencies in two or more languages.


Limited English Proficient


Multilingual Learner

Monolingual Classroom

A general education classroom with non ELs and ELs where the language of instruction is English.


Refers to any foreign-born students and their families who have recently arrived to the United States.


A person who has fled his or her country of origin because of past persecution or a fear of future persecution based upon race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2015).


Students with Interrupted Formal Education: Students who have experienced disruptions in their education in their native countries and/or the United States, and/or are unfamiliar with the culture of schooling Calderon, 2008).


Transitional Bilingual Education: The students’ first language is used to develop the oral, reading and writing skills necessary to become literate and have success in the core curriculum.This program is required when there are 20 or more ELs from the same language background in school.


Transitional Program of Instruction: Core academic subjects are taught in English. Pull-out/co-teaching instruction in core academic subjects occurs using specific strategies for ELs, or an ESL -endorsed mainstream classroom teacher differentiates language instruction and uses specific strategies for ELs. This program is offered when there are 19 or fewer ELs from the same language background in school.


Updated 1/23