English Language Learners

The English as a Second Language (ESL) Program in the Delavan-Darien School District serves approximately 425 English Language Learners (ELL) students. That is currently about 18 percent of the total student population. The majority of our ELL students speak Spanish as their first language.

The goal of the program is the acquisition of English through a Structured English Immersion model. This means we support listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English in the content areas for students who have been identified as English Language Learners (ELLs). Usually this support is given within the general classroom setting.

The ESL staff collaborates with the classroom teacher to meet the individual needs of each ELL student. Multiple methods of teaching are used to differentiate linguistic and academic instruction. ESL teachers may co-teach with the classroom teacher, they may pre-teach vocabulary in a small group setting, they might offer tutorial assistance during a study hall, they will administer assessments (tests) with modifications, they may teach specific language acquisition skills to a group, as well as serve as a liaison between the school, staff and our ELL parents. ESL teachers also administer the ACCESS test each year, which tests each ELL student’s level of acquisition of the English language.

The ESL department strives to provide English Language Learners with a successful and rewarding educational experience as they learn the fundamentals of and become fluent in the English language.


WIDA — an organization that advances academic language development and academic achievement for children and youth who are culturally and linguistically diverse — has webinars for parents of English Language Learner students. Find the links and summaries from WIDA below:

Part I: My child is an English language learner. What does that mean?

Part I provides information about what it means to be an English language learner, how students are identified as English language learners, and how students exit an English language support program. English Webinar | Spanish Webinar

Part II: My child is an English language learner. How is my child’s language development supported at school?

Part II provides information about the different ways students use the English language at school, along with information about the WIDA English Language Development Standards and how these standards can be used to support students’ English language development.English Webinar | Spanish Webinar

Part III: My child is an English language learner. How do I know if my child is making progress?

Part III provides information about how educators share information with parents about students’ English language development, specifically what scores from the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assessment mean, and how these scores can be used. English webinar | Spanish webinar