English Learners: English Language Development Standards

Introduction
Maryland is a member of the WIDA Consortium and has adopted WIDA’s English Language Development (ELD) Standards. As a multi-state coalition of state departments of education, WIDA acts in collaboration to advance academic language development and academic achievement for English learners (ELs) through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional learning for educators.

Organization and Format

WIDA's grade-level ELD Standards directly correspond to grade-level Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and utilize five proficiency levels—entering, emerging, developing, expanding, and bridging—to measure the progression of a student's English language development. The basic format of the standards is represented with language proficiency levels along the horizontal strand and the language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing along the vertical axis. The key elements of the standards are 1) a direct connection to the CCSS, 2) a uniform cognitive function across the levels of language proficiency, 3) topical, grade-level vocabulary related to the content-based example, and 4) a context for language use descriptive of the genre/text type and tasks. In addition, the academic language focus of the WIDA Consortium's ELD Standards incorporates not only language arts and mathematics standards but also the content areas of science and social studies.

Implementation
The WIDA Consortium's ELD Standards are intended to be used by Maryland's local education agency (LEA) policy makers, curriculum specialists, administrators, classroom teachers, English language development teachers, and other school personnel who work with ELs. They will serve as a critical resource for understanding the linguistic needs and abilities of ELs, creating ELD instructional models, writing curricula, designing assessments, and monitoring ELs' progress as they move through the five stages of language proficiency.

LEAs will use the WIDA Consortium’s ELD Standards as a basis for developing their own curricula, incorporating a scope and sequence that can be adapted to their individual program requirements and their EL population. With the ELD Standards as a guide and through collaboration of English language development and content area teachers, ELs will be provided with quality instruction that enables them to meet school expectations, perform well on mandated assessments, and become college and career ready.

WIDA ELD Standards for Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12