English Language Learner Program


Portsmouth Public Schools has a diverse student population that includes students whose first language is not English. The Portsmouth Public Schools English Learner (EL) program provides additional English support and instruction to ensure the success of English learners. An EL is classified as anyone who:

  1. Is aged 3 through 21;
  2. Is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
  3. Was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English; and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant
    II. who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of outlying areas; and
    II. who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English language proficiency;
    who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant;
  4. whose difficulties speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual –
    1. the ability to meet the State’s proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);
    2. the ability to achieve successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
    3. the opportunity to participate fully in society.

The EL program provides the necessary modified instruction to ensure English learners in grades K-12 are able to succeed in the classroom. Additionally, the PPS EL program seeks to ensure that English learners have meaningful access to the core curriculum. Along with direct services to students, the English learner staff works with teachers to develop instructional strategies that will support student acquisition of the English language across all content areas.

English learners enroll in our schools with a wide range of academic and first language skills. Some students come with limited or interrupted schooling; others come from schools where academic instruction has been minimal; still others come with well-developed academics in their first language, but little to no knowledge of English. The goal of the program is to provide a nurturing environment that develops high levels of English proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing while mastering the content area standards of learning.

English learners are also eligible to receive Gifted and Talented services and/or Special Education services based on their registration and assessment data.

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