Screening and Identification

Student Identification

Illinois bilingual education rules and regulations provide specific guidance on how to identify English language learners, place them in the proper educational program, monitor their progress, and transition them to the general program of instruction.

Home Language Survey (HLS)

Illinois School Code 23 Illinois Administrative Code 228 requires schools to administer a Home Language Survey (HLS) to every parent/legal guardian of all newly enrolling students for the purpose of identifying students who have a language background other than English. This includes students in Pre‐K, Kindergarten and grades 1‐12. The HLS serves to indicate possible eligibility for bilingual education services. The HLS asks parents/guardians to answer two questions:

  • Is a language other than English spoken in your home?
  • Does the student speak a language other than English?

If the answer to either question on the HLS is YES the school must assess the child’s English language proficiency using the appropriate English language proficiency screener to determine program eligibility within 30 days of enrollment. The completed HLS with parent/ legal guardian and school official signatures must be filed in the student’s cumulative folder and ELL Folder.

English Language Proficiency Screeners

Illinois School Code 23 Illinois Administrative Code 228 require that schools administer an individual English language proficiency screener to students identified through the HLS as coming from a family where a language other than English is spoken. All kindergarten students who have a YES answer on the HLS must be screened with the Model K, regardless of their ELL status in Pre‐K. Results from the screener will determine a student’s eligibility for and placement in a bilingual education program.

English Proficiency Screeners by Grade Level
Pre-Kindergarten Pre-IPT
Kindergarten and 1stgrade (1stsemester) MODEL K
1st grade (second semester) through 12thgrade WIDA