McSpedden Elementary

 My name is Deborah Pacheco, and I am the English as a Second Language  facilitator at Gunstream, McSpedden and Isbell Elementaries. My role on campus is to work with students who a limited English speaking, as well as to support and be a resource for their classroom teachers and families.

 I am a graduate of Texas A&M University. I taught second grade for ten years  before becoming an ESL specialist in 2004. When not teaching, I enjoy  cooking, reading, and spending time with my husband, children, and friends.


 Frequently Asked Questions about ESL:

How can I contact the ESL teacher?

How does the ESL program work?
Depending on the English proficiency level of the student, the ESL teacher provides individual pull-out, small group instruction or in class support. Language services for advanced language learners may be provided by the student's ESL certified classroom teacher, who is supported by the ESL teacher. 

How does a student qualify?
When a student enrolls, the parent fills out a Home Language Survey.   If a language other than English is spoken in the home, by law, an Oral Language Proficiency Test (OLPT) is administered to assess the student's level of listening and speaking.  Second through fifth graders may also be given the ITBS test to assess reading and writing.  

How does a student exit the program?
Students in kindergarten are not eligible to exit ESL.  First through second graders can exit at the end of the school year by meeting the following State criteria: Advanced High rating on TELPAS for listening, speaking, reading and writing and 40th percentile or higher on ITBS.  Students 3rd grade and up must achieve an Advanced High rating on TELPAS for listening, speaking, reading and writing and pass the Reading and Writing STAAR test.

How are ELLs assessed?
English language learners receive grades on grade level class work with accommodations and support from the ESL Teacher and classroom teacher.

Recent immigrants who are non-English speaking may not receive grades for up to the first semester of enrollment on U.S. schools, if appropriate for the student.

Each spring, ELLs are assessed through TELPAS.  Students K-1st are given a rating of Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, or Advanced High based on teacher observations in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking.  Students in 2nd-5th grade take an online reading assessment to earn a rating of Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, or Advanced High. Their writing rating is based on a writing collection rated by a certified TELPAS rater. Ratings for listening and speaking are based on teacher observation using state criteria.

Students 3rd-5th participate in STAAR testing.  Recent immigrants who are eligible may take STAAR L Math or Science, which is an online version of the test that students can have read aloud and have certain words defined or simplified.  There is no alternative test for Reading or Writing; however, eligible students may have accommodations such as extended time, small group or individual administration, or use of a district-issued bilingual translation dictionary.

My student attended Pre K at the Early Childhood School.  Are they automatically in the ESL Program?
Yes, if your student attended ECS for Pre K they will receive ESL services in Kindergarten and First grade.  Students who qualified for Pre K due to limited English language are not eligible for exit ESL until the end of first grade and must meet state exit criteria.

What are commonly used acronyms of the ESL program?
ESL - English as a Second Language refers to the program that offers English language support

ELL - English Language Learner refers to a student who is learning English.

LEP - Limited English Proficient.

OLPT - Oral Language Proficiency Test

TELPAS - Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System refers to the assessment ELLs are given in the spring.

ITBS - Iowa Test of Basic Skills.  This assessment is given to newly enrolled students 2nd-5th to assess the need for ESL services.  It is also given to 1st graders at the end of the school year to determine exit eligibility.  Each November, all FISD second graders take ITBS with their classroom teacher or in a small group with the ESL teacher.

STAAR - An acronym for the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam to replace the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

 How can I help my ESL student?
Read a wide variety of books on a different subjects.

Use every day activities as a way to reinforce vocabulary.

Spend time in conversation with your child speaking in complete sentences.

Listen to books on line. See the Websites listed for more suggestions.

Suggested Websites (ESL in bottom right corner)
https://bogglesworld.esl (online storytime)


Deborah Pacheco, ESL Facilitator