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English Learner Support

Instructional Program Options

Students are referred to the English Learner Services Department at the District Office for language assessment.  As a result of the assessment, EL students will be referred to one of following instructional programs:


English Language Development Courses: TBA


Mainstream English with English Learner Services Program: Students receive all instruction in English with English Language Development (ELD), Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE), instructional strategies and language and academic support by qualified teachers until the student reaches Redesignation criteria. Placement for this program is recommended for students at the High-Intermediate, Early Advanced or Advanced English proficiency as measured by the CELDT.


Alternative Two-Way Immersion Program: The District offers the Two-Way Immersion program at selected campuses through the Open Enrollment process. This program is for students whose parental waiver request is approved by the district.

What does EL support look like?

It is very common to have questions about what being an EL student means and what their program looks like in the classroom. English learner students receive instruction in English and participate in the same classes as all other students. The only difference is that teachers are trained to work with students who are learning a second language using special instructional techniques that help the students experience the curriculum. 

Typical specialized teaching techniques include the following:

  • Providing clear expectations on lesson outcomes;
  • Connecting the lesson to the student’s background, experience and prior knowledge on the subject, as well as emphasizing key vocabulary;
  • Using gestures, repetition, pictures, objects, technology and clear explanations of tasks to help students understand the lesson;
  • Teaching the students how to learn, and helping students to make connections and use higher level thinking;
  • Integrating frequent interactions between students and teachers, using different student groupings, as well as providing many opportunities for students to speak daily; 
  • Using hands on activities, use of language and content knowledge, daily practice on listening, speaking, reading and writing; 
  • Engaging learning experiences throughout the lesson; 
  • Reviewing of vocabulary and key concepts as well as regular feedback to students. 
  • Their progress is monitored throughout the unit of study.

Waiver Process

If the parent disagrees with the Instructional Program recommendation, parents must follow the procedure outlined in Board Policy 6174 for a waiver out of the English only program.

Contact Information

Mrs. Katie Bennett, EL Coordinator:


Ms. Myrna Zornoza, Bilingual Community Liaison,


School Phone Number: 949-492-4165

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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