English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY BENCHMARKS AND OUTCOMES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS Acknowledgements The Department of Education acknowledges Kathryn

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  • English Language Proficiency

    Benchmarks and Outcomes for

    English Language Learners

    June 2003

  • August 15, 2003

    Dear Colleagues:

    I am pleased to present to you the English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes for English Language Learners that was approved by the Board of Education in May 2003. The Department has involved a broad range of educators with expertise in second language acquisition and instruction of English language learners in the creation and review of this document.

    This document is intended to supplement, rather than replace, the English Language Arts Curriculum Framework. As is true for all students, English language learners ultimately need to demonstrate mastery of the standards in the ELA Curriculum Framework in order to earn a Competency Determination for high school graduation.

    I believe that English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes will be instrumental in supporting improvements to English instruction for English language learners in the Commonwealth. I encourage you to read this document, discuss it with your colleagues, and use it as a basis for developing curriculum and programs for English language learners. By working together we can help all students achieve proficiency in English.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Sincerely,

    David P. Driscoll Commissioner of Education

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY BENCHMARKS AND OUTCOMES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

    Acknowledgements

    The Department of Education acknowledges Kathryn Riley, Jill McCarthy, and Janet Furey for their efforts and leadership in the development of this document. Thanks also go to the following Department of Education staff members: Mark McQuillan, Jeff Nellhaus, Carole Thomson, Kit Viator, and Dan Wiener.

    The Department wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the following members of the ESL Standards and Assessment Committee, and of other experts who contributed to the development and refinement of this document.

    Members, Massachusetts ESL Standards and Assessment Committee Katherine Babitts Framingham Public Schools Teresa Benedetti Westfield Public Schools Colleen Billings Salem Public Schools Catherine Carney Dedham Public Schools Jorge Hernandez Peabody Public Schools Kellie Jones Brockton Public Schools Roberta Leopold West Springfield Public Schools Kathleen Malynoski Northampton Public Schools Paula Merchant Massachusetts Association of Teachers

    of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL) Jennifer Monahan-Roca Westborough Public Schools Zoe Morosini Chelsea Public Schools Kay Polga Brookline Public Schools Jose Quinones Springfield Public Schools Ada Ramos Lawrence Public Schools Susan Schwartz Methuen Public Schools Mary Scully Worcester Public Schools Charlotte Seeley Newton Public Schools Raynel Shepard Boston Public Schools David Valade Holyoke Public Schools

    External Expert Reviewers Paul Abraham Simmons College Margo Gottlieb Illinois Resource Center Claire Jackson Sharon Public Schools Lisa Masserio Massachusetts Association of Teachers

    of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL) Maria Paz-Avery Education Development Center Rosalie Porter READ Institute Robert Vitello Massachusetts Association of Teachers

    of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL)

    The development of these Benchmarks and Outcomes has also been guided by and benefited from prior efforts within the field of English as a Second Language (ESL). Specifically, the development of this document has been influenced by ESL standards from the states of New York, California, and Florida, and from the school districts of Boston and San Francisco, as well as by the standards developed by the National Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

    June 2003 Massachusetts Department of Education iv

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY BENCHMARKS AND OUTCOMES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements

    I. Introduction 1. Document Purpose and Rationale 2. Document Foundations and Central Themes 3. Document Organization and Contents 4. Using This Document

    II. English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes for English Language Learners

    1. Listening and Speaking S.1 Vocabulary S.2 Social Interaction S.3 Academic Interaction S.4 Presentation

    2. Reading R.1 Vocabulary and Syntax in Print R.2 Beginning to Read in English R.3 Comprehension R.4 Literary Elements and Techniques R.5 Informational/Expository Text R.6 Research

    3. Writing W.1 Prewriting W.2 Writing W.3 Revising W.4 Editing W.5 Media

    III. English Language Proficiency Level Descriptors

    Kindergarten to Grade 2

    Grades 3-4

    Grades 5-6

    Grades 7-8

    Grades 9-12

    IV. Appendices A. Bibliography B. Glossary of Selected Terms C. Resources D. MELA-O Rubric

    June 2003 Massachusetts Department of Education v

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY BENCHMARKS AND OUTCOMES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

    I. Introduction

    June 2003 Massachusetts Department of Education 1

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY BENCHMARKS AND OUTCOMES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

    Introduction

    1. Document Purpose and Rationale

    A limited English proficient student is defined as a student whose first language is a language other than English who is unable to perform ordinary classroom work in English. In 2003, slightly over 51,000 limited English proficient students were enrolled in public schools in Massachusetts.

    This document is intended to assist educators in the instruction of limited English proficient (LEP) students. Specifically, the purpose of the document is to

    define for all teachers of LEP students the English Language Proficiency Outcomes

    that indicate an LEP student has made progress in learning English and/or has moved

    to a level of performance in English that permits the students participation and

    achievement in academic classroom activities that are not tailored to limited English

    proficient students; and

    serve as the basis for defining the Benchmarks and Outcomes that will be annually

    assessed by the Department of Educations future English Proficiency Assessment for

    LEP Students as now required by state and federal law (Massachusetts Chapter 71A

    and No Child Left Behind, respectively).

    The English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes outlined herein are meant to serve as a natural progression to, rather than a replacement for, the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework learning standards. This document is also intended to be used in conjunction with the Commonwealths Curriculum Frameworks for English language arts, mathematics, science and technology/engineering, history and social science, the arts, and health to support the academic instruction of LEP students.

    2. Document Foundations and Central Themes

    Foundations

    The Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework serves as the primary foundation for this document. The majority of English Language Proficiency (ELP) Outcomes are standards or parts of standards (called links) taken from the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework. References to this Framework are found in parentheses (ELA) following related Outcomes.

    This document also draws from standards contained in the Massachusetts Foreign Language Curriculum Framework (FL following related Outcomes), and makes frequent reference to the Massachusetts English Language Assessment-Oral (MELA-O following related Outcomes). The MELA-O is an observational assessment instrument developed in the early 1990s by the Massachusetts Department of Education in collaboration with the Evaluation Assistance Center (East) at The George Washington University. The MELA-O will be used to assess listening and speaking skills of LEP students in Massachusetts beginning in spring 2003. The MELA-O rubric is included as Appendix D to this document.

    June 2003 Massachusetts Department of Education 3

  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY BENCHMARKS AND OUTCOMES FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS

    Central Themes

    Three themes are found throughout this document: (1) the critical role of vocabulary in language development; (2) the critical role that oral language plays in the development of academic English language proficiency, including vocabulary, reading, and writing skills; and (3) the critical relationship between English language acquisition and instruction in other academic subjects.

    Vocabulary is Integral to Language Development Vocabulary is an essential element in the development of each of the language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The development of vocabulary and related skills is therefore emphasized throughout this document. Whether an LEP student is just beginning to learn English, or is moving toward competency, vocabulary is fundamental to accessing English, as well as to gaining knowledge and understanding in the other academic content areas.

    Essential Role of Oral Language in the Development of Academic English

    Proficiency

    Activities that include oral interaction can be used to promote acquisition of academic English and provide critical opportunities for comprehension of academic content. Whenever possible, oral language activities (listening and speaking) should precede reading and writing activities.

    English Language Acquisition and Other Academic Subjects Educators charged with the instruction of limited English proficient students face a number of unique challenges. Foremost among these is that of teaching students to understand, speak, read, and write English while ensuring that they also receive rich and rigorous in

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