Proficiency Levels Summary

Nick Ulecka, Gale Sawyer, Sarah Runion, Travis Miller

Pre-Emergent Building Background

  • In order to assess the student's background knowledge of nocturnal or diurnal animals, the teacher should have the student draw pictures of animals that live near them.
  • Ask the student how to say the animal names in their first language.
  • The teacher can provide the beginning letter of each animal name, eventually working up to the full names of the animals.
  • The teacher can use symbols to refer to certain animals or types of animals.
  • The teacher should slowly pronounce each new vocabulary word to the student.
  • Students should associate a picture with the word for the animal.
  • If the pre-emergent student knows some words, use those words.

Pre-Emergent Comprehensible Input

  • Teachers need to be able to make assignments as clear as possible.
  • If possible, teachers can provide pictures related to or symbolizing the new vocabulary words or animals.
  • If the student's first language is common, the teacher can provide animal flashcards that contain the word in their first language, along with the English translation.
  • The teacher should try and use familiar vocabulary with clear pronunciation.


Arizona Department of Education. (2015). Finalized English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards. Retrieved from

Center for Applied Linguistics. (2016). SIOP-Lesson plans and activities. Retrieved from