top of page

Instructional Programs

Language acquisition programs are educational programs designed to ensure English acquisition occurs as rapidly and effectively as possible, and to provide instruction to English Learners based on the state-adopted academic content standards, including English Language Development (ELD) standards. All students identified as English Learners are automatically placed in the Structured English Immersion (SEI) Program. 

Image by Kenny Eliason


Structured English Immersion (SEI) Program: A language acquisition program for English learners in which all classroom instruction is provided in English, with a curriculum designed for pupils who are learning English. At minimum, students are offered daily Designated English Language Development (ELD) and access to grade level academic subject matter content through Integrated ELD in order to reclassify to Fluent English Proficient. All schools are required to provide an SEI program for students. English Language Development (ELD) standards-based Designated and Integrated ELD instruction is a component of Universal Supports for all English learners under the Multi-Tiered System of Supports and incorporates the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). 


English learner instruction in San Diego Unified School District is based on a strong theoretical foundation influenced by current research in sociocultural learning theory. A key principle of sociocultural theory is the fundamental understanding that language learning takes place through social interactions. In order for students to develop the language necessary to excel academically, they need to be engaged in purposefully planned interactions that promote the development of academic language.


 All English Learners enrolled in secondary schools are placed into a designated ELD (dELD) course.  These dELD courses provide dedicated time to explicitly teach academic language found in core content.  This instruction is based on the CA ELD Standards. Course placement is based on each student’s English proficiency level as determined by the Initial or Summative ELPAC as well as their EL typology.  In addition to this designated ELD course, all students receive Integrated ELD in each of their core content classes in order to provide meaningful access to grade content standards.  Below you will find the course options for designated ELD.


English Language 
Development (ELD)

(ELD) Courses are designed for English Learners who are newly enrolled in school in the United States and are at the Emerging and Expanding proficiency levels.


Academic Language Development (ELD/ALD)

(ELD/ALD) courses are designed for Long Term English Learners and students at risk of becoming Long Term English Learners. Students enrolled in ELD/ALD are also enrolled in a grade-level English course.

bottom of page