Tools: Essential Components of a Lau Plan

Legal Foundation: Beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal statutes require a plan that ensures equal access for English language learners (ELLs) to a school's instructional programming. See legal provisions for links to full resources.

Student Assessments

  • Identification of ELL students, recognizing that they may include:
    • Multiple languages and cultures
    • All races
    • All national origins
    • Native-born students
    • Immigrants by choice
    • Immigrants without choice (refugee)
    • Adoptees
    • Temporary residents (exchange students)
    • Migrants
    • The educated -- highly literate in L1
    • The non-educated -- illiterate in L1
    • All socioeconomic backgrounds
    • All ages and grade levels
    • Wide-ranging interests
    • Wide-ranging abilities
    • Wide-ranging personalities
  • Classroom placement of ELL students
  • English language proficiency classification
  • Standardized testing
  • Norm-reference testing
  • Authentic assessments
  • Alternate assessments
  • Monitoring for English fluency
  • Monitoring for achievement of standards
  • Re-classification as non-ELL
  • See also

Instructional Plan

Parental Involvement

  • Notification of option to have their children participate in program
  • Policy on document translations and interpreters for parents
  • advisory committees
  • Diverse roles of parents in the schools
  • See "Families & Communities" at


  • Qualified personnel (ESL licensure)
  • ESL staff development
  • Content teacher staff development
  • Wage scales equitable to those of regular classroom teachers

Coordination Plan

  • Staff teaming
  • Cross-grade articulation
  • Portfolio maintenance across grades and content subject areas
  • Communication among multiple ESL teachers and content teachers


  • Staff
  • Materials
  • Professional development

Adjunct Services

  • "Special subjects" (e.g., humanities, fine arts, gym)
  • Developmental reading
  • Creative writing
  • Course electives (secondary level)
  • Extra-curricular activities, clubs
  • Acculturation support
  • Speech therapy (as appropriate)
  • Special education (as appropriate)
  • Gifted & talented (as appropriate)
  • Interpreter (as appropriate)
  • "At risk" services (as appropriate)

Other Considerations

  • Instructional space
  • Student transportation
  • Inclusion features
  • Civil rights
  • Celebrations
  • Peer support
  • Community ESL advisory committee
  • Mentoring
  • Business sponsorships