101 ESL Report Card Comments for Students

Drafting ESL report card comments for your second language learners involves taking into account both the academic and social language proficiency levels in the target language.

These ESL report card comments consist mostly of academic language proficiency standards – those elements of English needed for students to communicate in academic settings, absorb new concepts, analyze complex academic material, and think critically.

Because one of the best practices in ESL instruction involves providing ample opportunities to read, write, listen, and speak in the target language, the following ESL report card comments are divided into those respective categories.

Whether you seek vocabulary, reading, writing, or grammar comments, you’ll find phrases here to meet the needs of your entire class.

ESL Report Card Comments

Beginner ESL Report Card Comments

Reading

  • ______has little to no ability to read and understand English within an academic context.
  • ______understanding of English is limited to some high-frequency words.
  • ______is highly dependent on prior knowledge and visuals to comprehend text.
  • ______has difficulty understanding fundamental English language structures.
  • ______often reads slowly, word by word.
  • ______ reads at grade level.
  • ______ is progressing well in the area of (insert reading skill or strategy).
  • _______greatly benefits from frequent rephrasing and repetition of unfamiliar material.

Writing

  • _______demonstrates little ability to meaningfully express himself in English within grade-appropriate writing tasks.
  • _______ writing is most clear and accurate when using high-frequency words along with simple sentences.
  • Most frequently, ________uses the present tense.
  • Semantic and syntactic errors in _______writing hinders readers’ understanding.
  • ______has difficulty implementing the 6 elements of good writing.
  • ______ vocabulary use is very limited.
  • ______ is progressing well in the area of (insert writing skill or strategy).

Listening

  • _______struggles to understand spoken English in an academic setting.
  • _______has a hard time comprehending basic conversations and discussions, even when visual cues are provided and the topics familiar.
  • With little support, _______frequently has trouble understanding instructions.
  • ______usually does not ask for assistance when understanding isn’t clear.
  • ______chooses to observe peers for cues or remain silent when comprehension fails.

Speaking

  • _______struggles to speak English in an academic setting.
  • _______often speaks using simple phrases or words and the topics are very familiar.
  • _______exhibits a very limited vocabulary.
  • In order to connect sentences more fluently, _______ requires an improvement in grammar usage.
  • _______linguistic errors significantly hinder the message he tries to communicate.
  • _______pronunciation greatly hinders communication.

Intermediate ESL Report Card Comments

Reading

  • ______has the ability to read and understand simple English within an academic context.
  • ______understands a variety of English vocabulary across contexts.
  • ______routinely applies some higher-order thinking skills when reading texts but relies on scaffolding to sustain understanding.
  • ______regularly re-reads a text to clarify meaning.
  • ______often reads slowly and in short phrases.
  • ______ is progressing well in the area of (insert reading skill or strategy).
  • _______needs reinforcement in new vocabulary.
  • As the semester progresses, _______ requires decreasing amounts of linguistic accommodations.
  • _______ has good stamina for reading for increasing amounts of time.
  • I recommend that _______utilizes a bilingual dictionary when appropriate to assist with comprehension.

Writing

  • ______exhibits limited English which inhibits his meaningful expression of ideas in writing.
  • ______applies high-frequency English vocabulary in her writing.
  • ______frequently has difficulty expressing abstract ideas.
  • ______limited vocabulary often causes repetition of ideas.
  • ______uses the past and future tenses inconsistently.
  • ______ is progressing well in the area of (insert writing skill or strategy).

Listening

  • With unfamiliar topics, ________ needs verbal and visual cues to aid listening comprehension.
  • _______comprehends basic high-frequency spoken English within academic environments.
  • _______is able to identify the key words and phrases needed to grasp the main idea of a message.
  • When comprehension breaks down, _______routinely asks for clarification by asking questions and asking the speaker to slow down, rephrase, or repeat.

Speaking

  • ______often uses English most frequently heard in academic settings.
  • ______English pronunciation is generally understood by others.
  • ______easily expresses himself in simple sentences.
  • ______linguistic errors only hinder communication when more complex English is used.
  • ______exhibits basic vocabulary needed to perform within academic contexts.
  • ______most often uses the present tense.

Advanced ESL Report Card Comments

Reading

  • With accommodations, ______ comprehends grade-appropriate English within an academic context.
  • ______occasionally has difficulty with less commonly-used vocabulary words.
  • ______displays a solid understanding of multiple-meaning words.
  • ______understands a variety of grade-appropriate English vocabulary across contexts when sufficient support is provided.
  • ______routinely applies higher-order thinking skills when reading texts, though may sometimes require scaffolding.
  • ______commonly reads familiar simple sentences and longer phrases with appropriate speed and rate.
  • ______ is progressing well in the area of (insert reading skill or strategy).

Writing

  • ______ is progressing well in the area of (insert writing skill or strategy).
  • With linguistic accommodations, _______expresses himself meaningfully in grade-appropriate writing assignments.
  • _______demonstrates a solid grasp of English grammatical rules.
  • _______writing increasing has a more academic tone.
  • _______writing is generally understood by readers.
  • _______occasionally showcases errors in his writing associated with ESL learners such as…

Listening

  • With linguistic support, _______ has the ability to comprehend academic English within academic settings.
  • _______grasps well the main idea and details of the spoken messages.
  • Occasionally, _______requests that the speaker rephrase, repeat, or slow down in order to clarify meaning.
  • _______understands elaborate discussions, directions, and conversations even though she at times needs a bit of time to process the information.

Speaking

  • _______frequently speaks using grade-appropriate English within academic contexts.
  • _______comfortably participates in conversations with peers.
  • _______exhibits a solid understanding of the basic English grammatical rules.
  • Though _______at times mispronounces words, her speaking is generally understood by others.

Advanced High ESL Report Card Comments

Reading

  • _______ comprehends grade-appropriate English within an academic context while provided minimal linguistic accommodations.
  • _______basic and higher-level comprehension skills are on par with native English-speaking peers.
  • _______level of English vocabulary acquisition is comparable to his/her native English-speaking peers, with some exceptions.
  • _______frequently recites texts with grade-appropriate expression, speed, rate, and intonation.
  • ______ is excelling in the area of (insert reading skill or strategy).
  • It is evident that _______ applies prior knowledge when reading to assist her in understanding the text fully.

Writing

  • With minimal linguistic accommodations, _______expresses himself meaningfully in grade-appropriate writing assignments.
  • _______demonstrates a strong grasp of English grammatical rules.
  • _______has an extensive English vocabulary.
  • _______writing is easily understood by its readers.
  • Overall, _______writing is comparable to those of his native English-speaking peers.
  • _______writing is generally understood by readers.
  • _______errors in writing are minor.
  • ______ is excelling in the area of (insert writing skill or strategy).
  • ______ frequently uses reading aids such as illustrations, text features, context clues, and graphic organizers to comprehend text.

Listening

  • With minimal accommodations, _______understands grade-appropriate spoken English within an academic setting.
  • _______understands elaborate discussions, directions, and conversations with only an occasional need for more time to process the information.
  • At times, _______ needs cues to process specialized language.
  • ______habitually comprehends the main idea and details of the spoken word comparable to her native English-speaking peers.
  • ______rarely requests the speaker to slow down, rephrase, or repeat information in order to clarify understanding.

Speaking

  • ______speaks grade-appropriate English well with minimal support.
  • ______frequently and actively participates in academic conversations with peers.
  • When communicating, ______utilizes vocabulary on par with that of his native English-speaking peers.
  • ______commonly using complex sentences and grammatical structures similar to those of her native English-speaking peers.
  • ______rarely makes linguistic errors that interfere with his general message.

Grammar

  • _______ demonstrates grade-level mastery of conventional writing rules.
  • _______ regularly decodes words using sound-letter relationships, prefixes, suffixes, base words, and cognates.
  • _______ reads from left to right, top to bottom with ease.
  • _______ has a strong sight word vocabulary.
  • _______actively and confidently participates in readers/writers workshop.
  • _______ is strong in (insert any specific reading skill).

Final Thoughts

Now you have a ready-supply of ESL report card comments to use that save lots of time and frustration.

These comments may be used to assess all subjects and learning skills as it pertains to English language learners.