Ability to speak English - A respondent who speaks a language other than English at home, and refers his/her assessment of the ability to speak English, from "very well" to "not at all."
ELL: English language learner. A national-origin-minority group who is Limited-English-Proficient.
English as a Second Language (ESL): A program of techniques, methodology and special curriculum designed to teach ELL students English language skills, which may include listening, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, content vocabulary, and cultural orientation. ESL instruction is usually in English with little use of native language.
FEP: Fluent (or fully) English proficient.
Interpretation — Oral language assistance provided by an interpreter either in-person or via a telephone interpretation service.
Language Dominance: Refers to the measurement of the degree of bilingualism, which implies a comparison of the proficiencies in two or more languages.
LEP — Limited English Proficiency. LEP persons do not speak English as their primary language and don’t have the ability or are limited in their ability to read, write, speak or understand English. Many LEP persons are in the process of learning English and may read, write, speak, and/or understand some English, but not proficiently. LEP status may be context-specific. An individual may have sufficient language skills to communicate basic information (name, address, etc.) but may not have sufficient skills to communicate detailed information in English.
Language Barrier— Failure to plan for and accommodate LEP may prevent people from learning of housing and other opportunities or applying for and receiving such opportunities. LEP may keep people from learning about environmental or safety problems in the community and the means available for dealing with them. LEP can keep a client or tenant from understanding their rights and responsibilities and may prevent people from reporting housing discrimination which can hinder investigations.
Language Proficiency- Refers to the degree to which an individual exhibits control over the use of language, including the measurement of expressive and receptive language skills in the areas of phonology, syntax, vocabulary, and semantics and including the areas of pragmatics or language use within various domains or social circumstances. Proficiency in a language is judged independently and does not imply a lack of proficiency in another language.
Lau v. Nichols: A class action suit brought by parents of non-English-proficient Chinese students against the San Francisco Unified School District. In 1974, the Supreme Court ruled that identical education does not constitute equal education under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court ruled that the district must take affirmative steps to overcome educational barriers faced by the non-English speaking Chinese students in the district. [414 U.S. 563 (1974)]
Patient’s Primary Language - The main language spoken by an LEP Person and in which such patient requires language assistance for effective communication with personnel.
Qualified Interpreter - The qualified individual who bridges a communication gap between an LEP person and the organization’s staff by means of oral communication. This definition includes both telephonic and face-to-face interpreters.
Safe Harbor —The “safe harbor” concept only applies to the translation of documents. If a recipient provides written translations when certain thresholds are exceeded, this action will be considered strong evidence of compliance.
Service Area — Sometimes used interchangeably with eligible service area, geographic area, catchment area, market area or target audience. The “safe harbor” evaluation will differ depending on the population the recipient is considering. When conducting outreach to the eligible population in the market area, the number and percentage of the eligible LEP population in that market area should be evaluated.
Sight-Translation - The oral conversion of what is written in on (source) language into another (target) language without adding, omitting or distorting meaning.
Source Language - The language from which an utterance is interpreted or translated.
Target Language - The language into which an utterance is interpreted or translated.
Translation — Written language assistance provided by a translator usually involving the translation of vital documents. Translation can range from the translation of an entire document to the translation of a short description of the document.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - Title VI prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance. The Title VI regulatory requirements have been interpreted to prohibit denial of equal access to education because of a language minority student's limited proficiency in English.
Vital Documents -- Any document that is critical for ensuring meaningful access to the recipients’ major activities and programs by beneficiaries generally and LEP persons specifically. Whether or not a document (or the information it solicits) is “vital” may depend upon the importance of the program, information, encounter, or service involved, and the consequence to the LEP person if the information in question is not provided accurately or in a timely manner.