FAQs for Parents of Potential MLL Students


Why is my student being identified as a potential Multilingual Learner (MLL)?

On the application you submitted to CVA, you completed answers to these Home Language Survey questions:

What language did your child first speak or understand?

What language does your child use the most at home?

If the answer to either one or both of these questions is non-English, your student is considered a potential MLL and may qualify to receive English Language Development services. These services are provided to students to help with reading, writing, listening and speaking in English.


What if my student can speak English and understands English just fine?

Even if a student seems to be fluent in English, he or she may need additional support in developing the language skills needed to be successful in school. Conversational English is different than academic English which is the level needed to fully participate in learning English without help. Research has shown that achievement of academic English takes 4-7 years or more to fully develop. Your teacher will help you to work with your student to build upon the skills already in place.


How do I know if my student needs help to develop academic English skills?

Our Assessment Coordinator will work with your local school district to schedule your student to take the WIDA Screener assessment at your local school. The Screener measures your student’s skill level in four areas of English: Listening, speaking, reading and writing. If your student meets the proficient criteria in all four areas of English, he or she does not qualify for English Language Development services. If any area does not meet the proficient criteria, then your student will receive instruction to improve those English skills.


Will my student have to take an extra class? How are the services provided?

Your student will be offered an additional class designed to allow access to the academic language in the content classes. These additional classes support English language development in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Our MLL teacher will oversee English language instruction facilitated through your student’s personalized written student learning plan. The MLL teacher will work with your student’s homeroom teacher to ensure student needs are met.


How will I know if my student’s academic English skills are improving?

All MLL students are scheduled to take the WIDA ACCESS assessment each year sometime in Feb. or Mar. This annual assessment measures students’ English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The results will allow you and your student’s educational team to see how much progress has been made with English skills, help with planning instruction for your student and tell us if your student met proficiency criteria and does not need further services.


When do services end?

Your student will exit services once he or she has attained proficiency on the annual WIDA ACCESS assessment.


How will my student benefit if I agree to allow him or her to participate in services?

There are many benefits for students who participate in English Language Development services:

  • Building English proficiency skills will help your student to be successful in other subject areas.
  • Multilingual students learn some pre-reading skills faster than non-multilingual students and also have an easier time acquiring some cognitive skills such as using logic, multi-tasking, focusing and memory. They develop strong thinking skills as well as math skills like solving word problems and understanding math concepts.
  • As MLL students develop their English skills, a blocking technique is acquired that helps them choose the right word from one language while blocking the same word from the other language. This technique is also used to ignore distracting information which comes in handy while working in a noisy environment or during a difficult interpersonal interaction because they can block out what they already know and focus on a differing viewpoint.
  • Students who participate in ELD services and attain proficiency while still practicing their native language have more employment opportunities as bilingual adults.  Katie 
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