Home Language Survey

When parents register children for school, one of the documents they fill out is a Home Language Survey (HLS). The purpose of the HLS is to determine if any other language in addition to English is spoken at home. The questions on the HLS help determine the English language experience and language needs of the student, informing us as to whom to test for English language proficiency.

If additional languages are spoken by parents, caregivers or children at home, our LIEP teacher(s) will assess the English language proficiency of the student using the state required language screening assessment, K-W-APT/ACCESS Screener. The guidance provided by the screening results will determine whether the student is or is not an EL (English Learner).

Some students who are tested, however, will not be eligible for EL services. Students may be dominant in English, fully bi-lingual or multi-lingual. Nonetheless, we test students to protect their rights, and to ensure that we provided the necessary supports to students as needed. 

Our Program

Occasionally parents express anxiety over the need for the Home Language Survey. They worry that their child will be segregated or stigmatized for their cultural background, or because of the languages their parents or grandparents speak. In the Dallastown Area School District, children are integrated in their classrooms. All of our schools operate under the same curriculum and assessment expectations. We pride ourselves in developing programs and instruction that are consistent, no matter the building, no matter the student.

Our Staff

Pennsylvania is home to more than 45,500 students whose primary language is something other than English. The LIEP teacher plays an important role in bridging the gap between a lack of English proficiency among students and their academic performance, which supports the district vision of inspiring and creating pathways for student success.

Pennsylvania schools are bound by law to provide Language Instruction Educational Programs (LIEP) for students whose primary language is something other than English. The Pennsylvania Department of Education ensures that all LIEP teachers are qualified and competent to teach students.

All of our district LIEP teachers are certified teachers who are required to have and maintain an LIEP certification above and beyond the regular educator certification. Likewise, all of our paraprofessionals are highly qualified and trained to support EL students. Being able to get extra instruction in English when a child needs it can be a critical advantage for ELs.

All of our LIEP teachers actively participate in district staff development, attend professional development in the field each year, and help to train and support the regular education teachers on a regular basis.

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