When students enter the South Carolina public school system, parents are required to complete a Home Language Survey (HLS). Schools use information from the survey to determine if a student’s English proficiency should be assessed. Students may be screened for possible eligibility for the ESOL program if a language other than English is listed when these questions are answered on the HLS:
What is the language that the student first acquired?
What language(s) is spoken most often by the student?
What is the primary language used in the home, regardless of the language spoken by the student?
Once a language other than English has been identified on the HLS, the student may be tested to determine if they qualify for the ESOL program. This program helps students become fluent in English. If students enter the ESOL program, they are entitled to services as multilingual learners and will be tested annually to determine their English language proficiency. Normally, multilingual learners see the ESOL teacher once or twice weekly during a time they are not missing core subjects, such as ELA or math. They are also eligible for accommodations in the classroom.
The World-Class Instructional and Design Assessment (WIDA) Consortium is a group of states dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English learners. South Carolina has been a member of WIDA since 2014 and strives to help English learners succeed in school.