BICS:  Dr. Jim Cummins coined the acronym for Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills.  BICS is the kind of language we use when we are talking face to face or when we are talking on the phone.  It is information language and really just a form of basic communication.  It is the language of social interaction.  It is a common mistake to think that because a person has the basic communication fluency, he or she is totally fluent in all aspects of the language.  He or she may not have fluency in academic language.  Competency in the language includes both communication skills and academic language.  Acquiring BICS usually takes about two years to develop in most second language learners.

CALLA:  Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach – language teaching approach based on explicit teaching of learning strategies

CALP:  Jim Cummins also coined the acronym for Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency. It’s the academic language proficiency that one needs to think in abstract ways and to carry on cognitively demanding tasks that are part of the school curriculum. Some call it “school language” or academic language. These skills usually take five to seven years to fully develop in second language learners.

EFL:  English as a Foreign Language – teaching English to students as a second language while they are in a non-native English speaking country vs. being in the United States

EL:  English Learner – a person who is in the process of acquiring English and has a primary language other than English

ESOL:  English to Speakers of Other Languages (Note: ESL and EFL are often used interchangeably. This acronym is an attempt to make a generic term and then assign more limited meanings to ESL and EFL.  Sometimes, English is a student’s second, third or fourth language, which makes using the term ESOL more appropriate than using ESL.)

ESL:  English as a Second Language – An academic discipline/program that is designed to teach English language learners social and academic language skills as well as the cultural aspects of the English language necessary to succeed in an academic environment; it involves teaching listening, speaking, reading and writing at appropriate developmental and proficiency levels with little or no use of the native language. ESL program models include departmentalized, sheltered, intensive, pull-out and push-in. 

LMS:  Language Minority Student – has not yet acquired full proficiency in English

LEP:  Limited English Proficient – a student who is not fully English proficient, speaks a language other than English at home, and does not demonstrate English language ski9lls of comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing at a level that would place him/her in a mainstream, English only class setting

NEP:  Non-English Proficient

NES:  Non-English Speaking (or Speaker)

PHLOTE:  a student with a primary home language other than English that did not qualify for Downingtown’s ESL Program

SIOP:  Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol – approach for teaching content to English language learners in strategic ways that make the subject matter concepts comprehensible while promoting the students’ English language development – provides a model for lesson plans that provide both language and content objectives in the classroom – eight components are Lesson Preparation, Building Background, Comprehensible Input, Strategies, Interaction, Practice/Application, Lesson Delivery, and Review/Assessment – may also be referred to as

SDAIE (specially designed academic instruction in English)

TESOL:  Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages – a National and professional association

TPR:  Total Physical Response – a language-learning approach based on the relationship between language and its physical representation or execution; emphasizes the use of physical activity for increasing meaningful learning opportunities and language retention; a TPR lesson involves a detailed series of consecutive actions accompanied by a series of commands or instructions given by the teacher while students respond by listening and performing the appropriate actions

WIDA:  A consortium of states dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English language learners.  To this end, the WIDA Consortium has developed English language proficiency standards and an annual English language proficiency test aligned with those standards (ACCESS for ELLs®). Research and professional development activities importantly complement the WIDA standards and assessment products.

WIDA ACCESS for ELLs™: stands for Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners. It is a large-scale test that first and foremost addresses the English language development standards that form the core of the WIDA Consortium’s approach to instructing and testing English language learners. These standards incorporate a set of model performance indicators (PIs) that describe the expectations educators have of ELL students at four different grade level clusters and in five different content areas.

The grade level clusters include PreK-K, 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. There are five content areas of the standards. The first is called social and instructional language (SI), which incorporates proficiencies needed to deal with the general language of the classroom and the school. The others are English language arts (LA), math (MA), science (SC), and social studies (SS).

WIDA W-APT™:  An adaptive test that can gauge students’ proficiency up to and beyond Level 5 of the WIDA ELP Standards. Like ACCESS for ELs®, there are five grade level clusters: Kindergarten, 1-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. All five tests are designed to guide EL educators in decision-making regarding a child’s ELL status and services.  The W-APT™ has three main purposes:  1) To identify students who may be candidates for English as a second language (ESL) and/or bilingual services, 2) To determine the academic English language proficiency level of students new to a school or to the U.S. school system in order to determine appropriate levels and amounts of instructional services, and 3) To accurately assign students identified as ELs to one of the 3 tiers for ACCESS for ELs®.  The W-APT™ is discriminates across the full proficiency range of the WIDA ELP scale, which ranges from Level 1, Entering—reflecting only rudimentary knowledge of and skills in English—to Level 6, Reaching—the level at which students can succeed academically in English on par with their English proficient peers in Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing.