English Learner Parent Notification Letters Parents and guardians, please complete your student's online form.
English Language Development Standards
Maryland is a member of the WIDA Consortium and has adopted WIDA’s English Language Development (ELD) Standards.
WIDA's grade-level English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework 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 ELD. Grade-level Cluster Proficiency Level Descriptors for interpretive and expressive Modes address three dimensions of language: discourse, sentence, and word/phrase within a sociocultural context. The ELD Standards Framework is centered on equity and fosters the assets, contributions and potential of English learners. The key elements of the standards are:
- a direct connection to the CCSS;
- a uniform cognitive function across the levels of language proficiency;
- topical, grade-level vocabulary related to the content-based examples; and
- a context for language use descriptive of the genre/text type and tasks.
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.
Want to learn more about WIDA's ELD Standards? See the 2020 Edition for Kindergarten - Grade 12.
Our English learners will become empowered multilingual global citizens who are academically, linguistically, and culturally equipped for success in school and beyond.
The English Language Development program provides asset-based linguistic, academic, and socio-emotional support to English learners and their families in order to ensure equitable, appropriate and inclusive educational practices for all AACPS students.
Which students are eligible for the English Language Development program?
The ELD program provides instruction to English Learners in grades K-12. Eligibility for participation in the program is determined by an English language proficiency assessment. Upon registration, a home language survey is administered to determine potential eligibility for ELD services. Any student demonstrating limited English language proficiency on the WIDA Screener Assessment (as required by the Maryland State Department of Education) is eligible for instructional services. ELD instruction is provided at all AACPS schools.
How does the English Language Development program work?
Through an asset-based approach to language, ELD classes foster the development of academic literacy, mathematical competence and social growth among English learners. Instruction in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills supports English learners in obtaining equitable access to grade-level academic curriculum.
Depending on individual school needs, elementary ELD teachers will either meet with students outside the classroom in small groups (pull out) or with students in the grade-level classroom setting (push in). ELD teachers utlilize the English language development curriculum to provide linguistically-focused instruction aligned to grade-level content and standards.
The middle and high school programs use an integrated language development curriculum including the Language for Language Arts, Language for Science, Language for Mathematics, Language for Social Studies, and Social and Language for Social and Instructional Purposes. Students may take specific ELD courses, and/or receive instruction with an ELD teacher within the grade-level classroom setting. High School course offerings include ELD I– V, ESOL Newcomer, ESOL Social Studies 1 and Transitional Math. Middle School course offerings include ESOL Grades 6-8 and ELD I & II.
Initial placement in ELD courses is determined by English proficiency scores as measured by the WIDA ACCESS for ELLs Assessment. Subsequent placement is determined by ELA teacher and counselor recommendation, based on credit accumulation and English proficiency testing.
What are the goals of the English Language Development program?
Goal 1: To encourage a system-wide, asset-based approach to language which supports the development of linguistically diverse students as multilingual participants in global society.
Goal 2: To build English language proficiency among elementary English Learners in order to foster the development of academic literacy, mathematical competence and social growth.
Goal 3: To build English language proficiency among middle school English Learners in order to foster the development of academic literacy, mathematical competence and social growth.
Goal 4: To build English language proficiency among high school English Learners in order to ensure all English learners graduate high school with adequate preparation to become globally competent participants in society, post-secondary institutions, and the workforce.
Goal 5: To equip all educators of English learners with the knowledge and skills needed to support their linguistic, academic and social growth.
Goal 6: To create access and opportunity for linguistically diverse families to support their child’s learning in partnership with schools.