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Introduction to the WIDA English Language Development Standards

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1 Introduction to the WIDA English Language Development Standards
This PPT is designed as an introduction to the WIDA ELD Standards for all ESL/bilingual staff, general educators, ESL/bilingual and administrators. Contents of this PPT include: ELD Standards Foundation WIDA Jargon Why ELD Standards? Language vs. Content Scaffolding Academic Language Overview of the WIDA ELD Standards Performance Definitions CAN DO Descriptors ELD Standards Model Performance Indicators (MPIs) Transformations of MPIs Special Strands Presenter Affiliation Date © 2013 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, on behalf of the WIDA Consortium

2 Training Objectives Insert your training objectives 2

3 WIDA Terms Why does WIDA distinguish between “language proficiency” and “language development?” WIDA uses the name English language development (ELD) standards to articulate the language acquisition process as fluid, flexible, and ongoing WIDA uses the term language proficiency to reflect a student’s current level in the language acquisition process at a particular point in time Levels 1-6 are still referred to as “proficiency levels” ACCESS for ELLs is an English language proficiency assessment

4 Language & Content Language proficiency involves the language associated with the content areas. Content knowledge reflects the declarative (what) and procedural knowledge (how) associated with the content. The WIDA Standards measure English language proficiency (ELP) in the academic content areas – not the academic content knowledge itself; the language of math, for example, what “greater than[>]” and “less than[<]” mean, not the math/computation itself (e.g., 6 [>/<] 5). The standards are designed to provide educational equity to ELLs through language development.

5 State Content Standards
ELD & State Standards ELD Standards Academic language development Language-based Reflective of the varying stages of second language acquisition Representative of social and academic language contexts State Content Standards Academic achievement Content-based Reflective of conceptual development Representative of the school’s academic curriculum

6 Variations of Language
The yellow circle without a label represents the student’s language knowledge. All the other circles are impacting the language the student can use and comprehend. Adapted from Zwiers (2008) Providing Access to Academic Achievement Through Language Development 6

7 Academic Language Functional Approach (Halliday, 1975)
BICS and CALP (Cummins, 1979) Sociocultural context of language learning (Brice Heath, Richard-Amato, Snow, 1986) Academic LanguageS (Lemke, 1990) Discourses (Gee, 1996, 2004) Now that we have talked about our locus in the linguistic continuum in our society and that we have explored issues about language acquisition, we’d like to provide a theoretical framework to academic language. Why? Because as educators, academic language is one of the ways in which we can provide to our students to level the field (address educational equity for ELLs) Therefore, what is AL? According to Research: functional linguistics, socio cultural and discourse theory

8 Academic Language in Context
Culturally responsive pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1994) Language of schooling (Schleppegrell, 2004) Funds of Knowledge (Gonzalez, Moll & Amanti, 2005) WIDA’s Can Do Philosophy (2004, 2007, 2012) Continue discussion of AL

9 Our Standards Framework for English Language Development
Features of Academic Language Performance Definitions Standards Matrix The 2012 Amplification enhances the Standards Framework in several ways to improve how WIDA illustrates academic language. The features of academic language is a new component, while the Performance Definitions and Standards Matrices have been restructured. Together, the three components of the Standards Framework reflect how academic language can be introduced in the classroom.

10 The Features of Academic Language in WIDA's Standards is a new resource available to educators in the 2012 standards publication. You may notice that the criteria we use to define the levels of language development have changed slightly. Originally, these criteria included linguistic complexity, language control and vocabulary usage. In order to clarify the criteria we did two things: First, we divided the performance criteria into three different levels. You can see in this chart that the discourse level is associated with linguistic complexity, the sentence level is associated with language forms and conventions and the word/phrase level is associated with vocabulary usage. - The second modification is the addition of the socio-cultural context, which impacts all three criteria by defining students' identities and social roles within a particular task or situation. Some important aspects of the sociocultural context related to language include register, genre, and text type. It is important for educators to intentionally engage students in both formal and informal communication and give them opportunities to interact with a wide range of instructional materials in the classroom. The sociocultural context emphasizes that building on the richness of students' background experiences motivates them and makes language learning more relevant.

11 Sociocultural Context
Genre/ Text Type Register Topic Sociocultural Context Participants’ identities & social roles Task/ Situation The sociocultural context highlights the purpose of communication and, most importantly, the participants and their experiences. Register: features of language that vary according to the context, the groups of users, and purpose of the communication (e.g., the speech used when students talk to their peers versus their principal) Genre: socially-defined ways in which language (e.g., oral and written) is used to participate in particular contexts to serve specific purposes Text type: categories of text that employ particular language features for specific purposes

12 2007 Performance Definitions
The 2007 Performance Definitions are still applicable for the ACCESS assessment.

13 WIDA Performance Definitions – Listening and Reading Grades K-12
One update to the Standards Framework for 2012 is that the three criteria used to define each level of language proficiency, Linguistic Complexity, Language Forms and Conventions, and Vocabulary Usage, are now displayed in two sets of Performance Definitions. One set of Performance Definitions is for receptive language and represents how ELLs process language to comprehend information, ideas or concepts in either oral or written communication.

14 WIDA Performance Definitions – Speaking and Writing Grades K-12
The other set of Performance Definitions is for productive language and shows how students at each level of language proficiency use language to express information, ideas or concepts in either oral or written communication. For the first time the Performance Definitions are organized within discourse, sentence, and word/phrase levels to correspond with the features of academic language. You may also notice that Language Control is now referred to as Language Forms and Conventions.

15 WIDA’s ELD Standards Academic Language Social & Instructional Language
Language of Language Arts Language of Mathematics Language of Science Language of Social Studies WIDA’s five English Language Development Standards represent the social, instructional, and academic language that ELLs need to engage with peers, educators, and the curriculum in schools. Standard 1 represents the language needed and used by ELLs for social and instructional purposes within the school setting. Standards 2-5 address the language necessary for ELLs’ academic success in the content areas of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. While other features of the Standards Framework have been updated, the five English Language Development Standards have NOT changed. Academic Language Standard 1 Standard Standard Standard Standard 5

16 Organization of the 2007 Standards Matrix
The standards matrix is the third component of WIDA’s Standards Framework, which provides a basic structure for representing the five English language development standards. This is what the 2007 Standards matrix looked like, so look for similarities and differences within the appearance of the 2012. 16

17 STRAND MPI Organization of MPIs within the 2012 Standards GRADE 8
ELD STANDARD 4 - The Language of Science EXAMPLE TOPIC: Forms of energy The latest standards publication presents a new format for the standards matrix. Previously, the example topic that underlies language development across the strand always referenced academic content standards. What we added was an explicit connection between the example topic and the content standard. More detailed information on the new components of the 2012 Standards Framework will be presented in the following slides. The standards continue to be represented in a series of scaffolded steps within a linguistic progression across 5 levels of language proficiency. Each individual level of the progression is called a Model Performance Indicator or MPI. MPIs are meant to be examples and not fixed prescriptions of the language students may engage with during instruction and assessment. We refer to a series of 5 MPIs tied to one language domain as a strand. This strand of MPIs pertains to the language domain of Speaking. STRAND MPI

18 Grade Levels & Clusters
2007 ELP Standards PreK-Kindergarten Grades 1-2 Grades 3-5 Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12 Kindergarten Grade 1 Grade 6 Grade 2 Grade 7 Grade 3 Grade 8 Grade 4 Grades 9-10 Grade 5 Grades 11-12 2012 ELD Standards The grade-level organization of the 2012 ELD Standards is slightly different than the 2007 ELP Standards. WIDA is in the process of developing standards for Pre-Kindergarteners (3-5-year olds)

19 Language Domains Listening Speaking Reading Writing
Process, understand, interpret and evaluate spoken language in a variety of situations Speaking Engage in oral communication in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes and audiences Process, understand, interpret and evaluate written language, symbols and text with understanding and fluency Reading Each standards matrix is organized around one of these four language domains. Writing Engage in written communication in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes and audiences

20 Language Domains How are the four language domains similar and unique? This slide illustrates how we often talk about domains as productive (Speaking/Writing) or Receptive (Listening/Reading). This means that our students are either producing or receiving language, which requires a different set of skills. Do all language domains develop at the same rate for students? Is there a typical order in which domains are developed?

21 GRADE 8 ELD STANDARD 4 - The Language of Science EXAMPLE TOPIC: Forms of energy CONNECTION: Next Generation Science Standards, May 2012 Draft, Energy b-d (Middle School): Use representations of potential energy to construct an explanation of how much energy an object has when it’s in different positions in an electrical, gravitational, and magnetic field. Plan and carry out investigations to show that in some chemical reactions energy is released or absorbed. Use and/or construct models to communicate the means by which thermal energy is transferred during conduction, convection, and radiation. EXAMPLE CONTEXT FOR LANGUAGE USE: Students decide with peers the types of energy transfers that occur in various situations from everyday life (e.g., glow sticks, thunderstorms, simple engines) to demonstrate the conservation of energy. Standards Connection Example Context for Language Use Cognitive Function COGNITIVE FUNCTION: Students at all levels of English language proficiency will ANALYZE energy transfer. SPEAKING Level 1 Entering Level 2 Emerging Level 3 Developing Level 4 Expanding Level 5 Bridging Level 6 - Reaching State how energy transfers using visual supports (e.g., “heat,” “light,” “sound”) Give examples of how energy transfers using sentence frames and graphic supports Describe how energy transfers using sentence frames and graphic supports (e.g., “____ energy is transferred. ____ energy is stored.”) Compare and contrast how energy transfers using graphic supports Discuss how energy transfers using graphic supports TOPIC-RELATED LANGUAGE: Students at all levels of English language proficiency interact with grade-level words and expressions, such as: energy transfer, conservation of energy, sound wave, kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy The next slides will provide an overview of the amplified elements of the 2012 ELD Standards, including: Standards Connection Example Context for Language Use Cognitive function Topic-related language Topic-related Language

22 Standards Connection The Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
Provides a direct connection to grade-level content standards, including: The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) The Next Generation Science Standards Other state standards The example below draws from the CCSS: Also includes the standards of other states in the WIDA consortium that are not adopting the Common Core, like Alaska, Minnesota, and Virginia, but maintain their rigor.

23 Example Context for Language Use
Highlights the importance of teaching language in a meaningful context Provides examples for teachers to think about possible: instructional tasks audiences registers genres The example context for language use includes the task or situation in which communication occurs.

24 Cognitive Function Adopted terms from Bloom’s revised taxonomy All MPIs across a strand now relate to a common cognitive function Expect higher cognitive functioning from ALL students Learning through participation in tasks within and outside the classroom requires particular levels of cognitive demand. WIDA expresses this cognitive demand in the new standards framework, through the COGNITIVE FUNCTION.

25 Cognitive Function Important to remind participants here that underlying the language function (communication process) is the cognitive demand, which is applicable across all levels of English language proficiency.

26 Topic-Related Language
Gives students access to a grade-level language-rich environment while they are acquiring English Grade 3 Language of Mathematics example: TOPIC-RELATED LANGUAGE: Students at all levels of English language proficiency interact with grade-level words and expressions, such as: square unit, unit squares, length, width, area Although students may be at different points in their language development trajectory, when learning particular content, certain specific and technical language is essential for engaging in learning the ideas and concepts presented. Through the use of scaffolding and supports, students should have the opportunity to interact with language.

27 The Content Stem/Example Topic
The Elements of the MPI The Language Function The Content Stem/Example Topic The Support Each MPI consists of three main elements: language function, content stem/example topic, and type of support.

28 Elements of Model Performance Indicators
The Model Performance Indicator (MPI) consists of three elements: Language function: describes how students use language to demonstrate their proficiency Content stem/example topic: specifies context for language instruction; derived from state content standards Support: sensory, graphic, or interactive resources embedded in instruction and assessment that help students construct meaning from language and content 28

29 Content Stem/Example Topic Instructional Support
Elements of MPIs Content Stem/Example Topic Language Function Follow oral directions to design area maps using manipulatives and illustrated examples in small groups An example MPI from Grade: 3 Standard 3: The Language of Mathematics Proficiency Level: 3 Instructional Support

30 The Model Performance Indicator Language Function
Another example

31 The Model Performance Indicator Content Stem

32 The Model Performance Indicator Support or Strategy

33 Support Examples Instructional supports illustrate the importance of scaffolding language development for ELLs, at least through level 4. WIDA categorizes supports as sensory, graphic, or interactive, with some examples of each provided in the table. These can be found the in the 2007 Edition of the WIDA ELP Standards.

34 Specific Examples of Sensory Supports
Here are specific examples of the supports used in different content areas. These lists are not exhaustive. This graphic can be found in the 2007 Edition of the WIDA ELP Standards.

35 Example Use of Graphic Organizers
Students might refer to graphic organizers as they read to remind them of key language related to each narrative point of view. This graphic can be found in the 2007 Edition of the WIDA ELP Standards.

36 A Blank Template for customizing strands
GRADE: _________ A blank template is available in the 2012 Amplified Standards to customize strands for your local context. The 2012 Standards include MPIs for each grade level that illustrate differentiated language expectations within one content-area and one language domain The presented strands are only examples of language expectations and not guidelines Teachers can look back at the 2007 Standards Edition for additional examples, or to create, innovate, transform, and customize the standards matrices to best meet the needs of their ELLs We also invite teachers to transform the strands by swapping out elements of MPIs to customize them for their local context

37 Special Strands Integrated strands Complementary strands
Expanded strands Several special strands have been added to the 2012 standards framework. They each highlight certain aspects of language development.

38 Integrated Strands Show how one unit of instruction integrates all four language domains Encourage educators to prepare units incorporating multiple language domains and subject areas Help students make important learning connections across disciplines Listening Speaking Reading Writing

39 An Integrated Strand (K-5)

40 Complementary Strands
Address language used in electives, including: Music and Performing Arts Humanities Visual Arts Health and Physical Education Technology and Engineering Language learning occurs throughout the school day, formally and informally There is one complementary strand per grade level to reach a broader range of educators who work with ELLs

41 A Complementary Strand

42 Linguistic Complexity Language Forms & Conventions
Expanded Strands “Expanded” strands display the features of academic language: Provide concrete examples of language at discourse, sentence, and word/phrase levels Show how MPIs are connected to Performance Definitions Inform teachers’ planning and instruction Linguistic Complexity (Discourse Level) Language Forms & Conventions (Sentence Level) Vocabulary Usage (Word/Phrase Level)

43 An Expanded Strand Participants should have a handout of an example expanded strand, this one is from p. 27 of the 2012 Amplification of the WIDA ELD Standards.

44 CAN DO Descriptors Provide teachers with information on the language students are able to understand and produce in the classroom in within all five ELD standards. Available in both English and Spanish for the following grade-level clusters: PreK-K Grades 6-8 Grades 9-12 Grade 1-2 Grades 9-12 Grades 3-5 One other standards-referenced resource is the CAN DO Descriptors. These are often used in interpreting the results of WIDA assessments so that teachers can see what students can do in each language domain (Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing). They are a good first step for introducing content-area teachers and other educators to the process of language development. To download for free, go to: To preview and/or purchase full-color, laminated spiral booklets, visit our Online Store at:

45 Let’s plot Jose Carlos’ ACCESS for ELLs results on the
CAN DO Descriptors: Listening 4.1 Speaking 6.0 Reading 5.0 Writing 3.8 Here’s an example of how we might use the CAN DO Descriptors to understand a score report for an example student (Jose Carlos).

46 4.1 These are the bullet points within the CAN DO Descriptors showing what Jose Carlos can do in Listening and Speaking, based on what was listed on his score report. 6.0

47 5.0 These are the bullet points within the CAN DO Descriptors showing what Jose Carlos can do in Reading and Writing, based on what was listed on his score report. 3.8

48 Questions or Comments? For more information, visit
Contact the WIDA Client Services Center: or For more information, including how to download or purchase the 2012 Amplified Standards visit: World Class Instructional Design and Assessment, © 2013 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, on behalf of the WIDA Consortium

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