English Language Development

All identified English Learners (ELs) in San Diego Unified are automatically enrolled in an English language program and provided instructional support to attain high levels of English proficiency. Every school in San Diego Unified provides Structure English Immersion (SEI) Instruction through both Integrated and Designated English Language Development (ELD). According to the ELA/ELD Framework, English learners at all English proficiency levels and at all ages require both Integrated ELD and specialized attention to their particular language learning needs, or Designated ELD. Designated ELD is defined as instruction provided during a time during the regular school day for focused instruction on the state-adopted ELD standards to assist English learners to develop critical English language skills necessary for academic content learning in English. Integrated ELD is defined as instruction in which the state-adopted ELD standards are used in tandem with the state-adopted academic content standards. Integrated ELD includes specifically designed academic instruction in English.

Below is a description of the various program goals and courses offered in the San Diego Unified School District.

General Goals and Outcomes

The ELD curriculum has been designed to:
  • develop high level of academic English
  • provide full access to grade level curricula and standards
  • promote opportunities to develop proficiency in multiple languages

Approaches to Assessment

Upon enrollment in San Diego Unified schools, every family fills out a Home Language Survey. When a language other than English is indicated on that form when answering questions 1, 2 and 4, the school site is required to administer the California Initial English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). Results of the Initial ELPAC will determine whether a student is designated as an English learner. If a student is designated as an English learner, they are automatically enrolled in one of our English learners programs as explained below.

In addition, all English learners take the Summative ELPAC in the spring of each school year to monitor progress towards becoming English proficient and to determine placement in the appropriate EL program. The school district and schools sites will also utilize formative assessment data to inform instructional decisions.

English Language Development Standards

The State Board of Education formally adopted in 2012, the California English Language Development Standards: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (CA ELD Standards) and in 2014, the English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework for California Schools: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (ELA/ELD Framework): The CA ELD Standards can be accessed through: