English Learner Services

The purpose of the Lakeville Area Schools English Learner Program is to help develop children’s Standard American English skills to a level where they can succeed in their mainstream classrooms. Lakeville Area Schools currently serves students speaking over 30 different languages. ESL teachers are committed to ensuring that these students succeed.


For information regarding English Learner Services, please contact:

English Learner FAQs

What are ELs? What is LEP? What is ESL?

ELs are English Learners. LEP stands for Limited English Proficiency. The state of Minnesota may use either abbreviation when referring to students learning English as an additional language. ESL (English as a Second Language) is the program used in ISD 194 to serve students learning English.

How are students identified as LEP?

When students enroll in ISD 194 schools, they complete a part of the enrollment form listing their home and first languages. All students must have this form on file, not just ELs. Family interviews and ESL assessments help the school decide if a student needs ESL services. For more information on the identification process, please see the ISD 194 ESL Handbook and the Exit and Entrance Criteria on this site.

Why is my student listed as LEP?

Some students who are not in an ESL class may still be considered Limited English Proficient by the state of Minnesota. These students still take state ESL tests and are monitored by an ESL teacher.

What is “Non-English Primary Home Language”?

Some students may speak or have first learned a language other than English but do not need ESL services. These students are listed as having a primary home language that is not English.

How long does it take to learn English?

The time it takes to be truly proficient in all areas of English is different for each student. ESL teachers often talk about a student’s BICS, or basic communication skills, and their CALP, or language for talking about thoughts, beliefs, and academic concepts. Developing BICS can take 1-3 years, but developing CALP can take 5-10 or more years.

Whom should I contact about ESL?

Contact your school’s ESL teacher.

ESL Service Models

Direct Service:

Students who are eligible for ESL are provided with Direct Service by ESL teachers. The amount of Direct Service appropriate for each student is determined by individual testing and the recommendations of the ESL and general education teachers. While ESL teachers use a variety of methods to help English Learners make progress towards English proficiency, there are two main types of Direct Service provided to students in ISD 194:

  • Pull-out Model: In this model, students leave their general education classroom and are taught by an ESL teacher. Pull-out instruction is focused on both content-based learning and English language skills.
  • Push-in Model: In this model, the ESL teacher and the general education teacher work together or separately in the general education classroom to provide content and language instruction.

Indirect Service:

After a student has met the requirements to be considered fluent in all areas of the English language, the Minnesota Department of Education recommends a 1-2 year Indirect Service period. During this time, the ESL teacher does not provide Pull-out or Push-in English instruction, but periodically reviews the progress of the English Learner to ensure their success in the general education environment.


After the Indirect Service period has ended and the English Learner is exited from the ESL program, the Minnesota Department of Education places that student on Monitor status. State testing documents will continue to reflect the student’s status as an English Learner for two years. Monitor is a state-level designation, and does not continue to impact the student at the district level.

ESL Language Levels

ESL Testing

Students in ESL take tests each year to show whether they need ESL services or not, and to show their progress in ESL.

  • W-APT: Given to students entering a school to determine their ESL service needs.
  • IPT 1 & 2: This test is given by the ESL teacher to show the student’s language level. It is used to monitor student progress. Students can take an Oral (speaking and listening), Reading, or Writing test.
  • Access: All ESL students in the state of Minnesota take the ACCESS tests to determine their progress in ESL. The test has Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking components.

ESL Testing Dates

  • W-APT: Given to incoming students within two weeks of their arrival.
  • IPT Tests: Given in September and at mid-year to all continuing ESL students.
  • ACCESS: Given in February and March of each school year.

ESL Testing for Students Not Receiving ESL Service Students who do not receive ESL service but are still considered not proficient in English must take state tests each year until they are proficient in English, whether they have been withdrawn from ESL service or not.

Parent and Student Rights

Lakeville Area Schools complies with Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act. This means that we are required to inform parents about our ESL programs in an understandable manner and, as much as practicable, in their native language. Parents receive information about the ESL program and whether or not their child will be enrolled in ESL within 30 days after the beginning of the school year, or within 14 days of a child’s enrollment during the school year. Parents and students have the right to be informed about:

  • The reasons for the student’s eligibility for ESL.
  • The student’s level of English proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • The model of ESL service used in the school.
  • How the ESL program meets student’s academic needs.
  • The exit requirements for the ESL program.
  • How the ESL program will meet the needs of students with disabilities.
  • The expected transition rate into general education programs.
  • The expected graduation rate of students in the district.
  • The right of parents to remove the student from the ESL program and the procedure for doing so.
  • The student’s progress in meeting annual measurable achievement objectives for the year.

While this information is included in notifications sent by Lakeville Area Schools, much of it is also available at any time on this site. In addition, parents of English Learners are welcome to contact their child’s ESL teacher with questions about the ESL program. Lakeville Area Schools ESL teachers are committed to educating English Learners in an effective and meaningful way.

Information and Forms

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