28.  Does the student enrolled in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages or ESL) have to meet the same standards that other students have to meet? How can the classroom instruction be modified? Must ALL students meet standards?

YES, all students must meet standards. One of the most significant legal requirements that a school program must meet is to offer to ESOL students (or English Language Learners/ELL’s) an instructional program that is as effective and efficient as possible in order to provide equal opportunity for academic achievement and to prevent any substantive academic deficits.

Thus, the responsibility of insuring that ALL students meet academic standards rests with the school, with the school program, with the courses offered, the instructional resources available, and the preparation of the teachers to teach in a manner that promotes learning and academic achievement in ALL students.

In California, a program for ELL’s that meets legal compliance must include four basic –and fully integrated—instructional components: (1) English-As-A-Second Language instruction (ESL or ELD); (2) Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE); (3) Primary language (L1) instruction, as needed; and (4) a Multicultural/ Positive Self-Image instructional component woven through the three previously listed components.

The four components MUST BE INTEGRATED, that is,

  1. Students must be provided, if needed, instruction or instructional support through their primary language (L1) to insure understanding of the content area concepts BEFORE any concept is presented through English;
  2. Students must be provided English language instruction (ESL/ELD), including the academic language of the content areas and the language of the concept(s) taught in the content areas, BEFORE any concept is presented through English;
  3. Students must be provided Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) where mastery of content area concepts and key ideas, and mastery of the academic language of the content areas are the main goals.
  4. Students must be provided Multicultural instructional opportunities relating to their L1 and cultural background that promote a positive self image and positive self esteem. These multicultural instructional opportunities are part of the three instructional components explained above.

Thus, classroom instruction must be modified and school programs must be modified, and school schedules and organization must be modified to insure equal educational opportunity and equal access to the academic curriculum for ALL students so that ALL students meet standards.

In may other questions in these web sites:

"ESLQuestions.com" and

I have suggested many modifications to explain how to implement effective and efficient ESL/ELD programs, Multicultural programs, and SDAIE programs.



For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:


Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net