English-Language Proficiency Screening

Purpose of Screening My Child

Federal and State laws require that if a parent or guardian has indicated that a language other than English is spoken in the home by a parent/guardian, student or caregiver; a standardized English Language Proficiency Test must be given.

Cincinnati Public Schools uses the Idea Proficiency Test (IPT) to find out if the student is Limited English Proficient (LEP). If the IPT results show the student is LEP the tests will help teachers to decide on the appropriate support for the student and make helpful instructional decisions for the student.

‘Proficient in English’ Means 

The State of Ohio’s meaning for “proficient in English” is the ability to understand, speak, read, and write the English language at a level in which one is able to:

  • Achieve successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is in English
  • Meaningfully participate in academic assessments in English
  • Participate fully in society in the United States

Ohio Department of Education’s English Proficiency Standards

English Skills That Will Be Screened

  • Listening:  How well is the student able to understand spoken English in social and school settings?
  • Speaking:  How well is the student able to speak in English in both social and school settings?
  • Reading:  How well is the student able to read age-appropriate written materials in English for both social and school purposes?
  • Writing:  How well is the student able to write in English for both social and school purposes?

Ohio’s English Proficiency Levels

Ohio has established five proficiency levels to group LEP students at different stages of their English language skills:   

  1. Pre-functional
  2. Beginning
  3. Intermediate
  4. Advanced
  5. Proficient/Trial-Mainstream

Monitoring Student Progress

State and Federal law requires a LEP student be tested every year to measure English language proficiency.

The Ohio Test of English Language Acquisition (OTELA) is the test used in Grades K-12 in Cincinnati Public Schools to measure English language proficiency.

Student Exiting ESL Services and Supports

To exit the LEP program, a student must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Obtain a composite score of five on the OTELA (Ohio Test of English Language Acquisition); OR
  • Obtain a composite score of four on the OTELA, then enter a trial period of regular instruction, and get a composite score of four or above on the OTELA during this time.

Special Conditions

  • Students cannot exit from the LEP program before grade three. 
  • Students who obtain a composite score of four or five on the OTELA in grade 2 and obtain a composite score of four or above on the OTELA during the completion of a trial period of regular instruction in grade 3 shall be exited from the program.
  • Transition Year. LEP students who obtain a composite score of four or five on the OTELA in 2010-2011 will be exited from the program if they obtain a composite score of four or five on the OTELA in 2011-2012.
  • Research indicates that it may take some students up to 7 through 11 years to achieve full academic proficiency in English (Cummins, 1982; Thomas & Collier, 1997)

Ohio Test of English Language Acquisition