Lesson 1: Terminology and the ENL Teacher



Learner will identify acronyms and proficiency levels associated with English as a New language as well as understand the role of an ENL teacher.

Case Study

Mrs. K has a class of 20 students, three of which do no speak English as their first language. She also finds out that because she has these students, she will be sharing her classroom and working with another teacher, an ENL teacher. Mrs. K feels uncertain and confused about the language that revolves around working with non-English speakers and about teaching with another teacher.

What information does she need to know to make her feel more confident and secure with teaching these students?


When non-English speaking students are a part of your class, there can feel like there is a lot to know and do for them to succeed. Here are some basic acronyms to become familiar with:

  • ELL - English Language Learners. These are your students who do not speak English as their first language.
  • ENL - English as a New Language. This is often the title of the teacher, name of a program or the class some students may take. Formally referred to as, and often still is called, ESL, or English as a Second Language.
  • SIFE - Student with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education.
  • NYSESLAT - New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test. This is given annually in the spring to assess each ELLs proficiency level. Proficiency levels determine the amount of time and support given to ELLs yearly. The scores should be kept in their student file.
  • NYSITELL - New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners. This is the first test given to potential ELLs to determine their incoming proficiency level.

For more information on SIFEs, visit http://www.nysed.gov/bilingual-ed/students-interruptedinconsistent-formal-education-sife

For common misconceptions and myths on ELLs: https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/myths-misconceptions-ell-students/ and File:Factsheet debunkingELLmyths.pdf


  1. Watch- What is an ESL Teacher

  1. Read- File:Proficiency Level Expectation Guide.pdf
  1. Discuss- What information does Mrs. K need to know in order to begin supporting her students? What are two resources she could use to help her and her students be successful? Post your answer in the Discussion section of this lesson, Lesson 1. Your response should pose a question for your classmates to respond to. Respond to at least two other people.


Using the Discussion page for this lesson, reflect on:

what an ENL teacher does.

what their role is in the classroom.

how they can be useful to you in your teaching environment.


Course homepage: English as a New Language: The Basics, Accommodations, and Co-Teaching

Section 1: The Basics - Lesson 2