Advancing the language and
literacy of English Learners in an
era of the Common Core
Standards
Laurie Olsen, Ph.D.
Alameda County Office of Education English
Learner Institute
January 26, 2013
[email protected]
English Learners
“There is no equality of treatment merely
by providing students with the same
facilities, textbooks, teachers and
curriculum…for students who do not
understand English are effectively
foreclosed from any meaningful
education…”
Lau v. Nichols, Supreme Court
The task:
To get them to English proficiency
To ensure access to curriculum while learning
English
A moving

target under
the Common
Core
Standards
_______________________________________________________________________
No
English
Proficient
for
Academic
work
Research on
EL
Civil Rights
Families,
Community
District
Initiatives
• Growing Gap
State & Federal
• Declining progress
Accountability
towards English proficiency
Reforms
• New barriers to access
• Persistent Long Term
English Learner challenge
Capacity
Prof. development,
teacher placement,
credentialling,
Politics
Entering era of converging forces
Long Term
English
Learner
Research
The Common
Core
Standards
English Learner
Research
Long Term English Learner
Research
Long Term English Learners are
created……..
Struggling
Students
K/1
gr.5
gr.8
Long Term
EL
gr. 10
HS grad
English Learner Typologies
• Newly arrived with adequate schooling
(including literacy in L1)
• Newly arrived with interrupted formal
schooling - “Underschooled” - “SIFE”
• English Learners developing normatively (1-5
years)
• Long Term English Learner
Reparable Harm research:
Californians Together Survey (2010)
• Data from 40 school districts
• Data on 175,734 English Learners in
grades 6 - 12
• This is 31% of California’s English
Learners in grades 6 – 12
• Districts vary in EL enrollment, size
and context
Data collected on English Learners 6 - 12
•
•
•
•
•
•
# of years since date of entry
Secondary ELs who enrolled in K/1
6+ by CELDT level
6+ by academic failure (Ds, Fs)
Definition
Placement
Across all districts
59% of secondary school ELs are long term
(103,635 in sample)
Differs significantly from district to district (21% - 96%)
Definitions vary
• Nine of 40 have a formal definition
• Length of time (years) is part of every
definition
• The number of years used in the definitions
vary from 5 years to 7+
• Six districts include “lack of progress” or
evidence of academic failure along with the
number of years
Their double challenge – our legal
responsibility
“English learners cannot be permitted to
incur irreparable academic deficits during
the time in which they are mastering
English”
“School districts are obligated to address
deficits as soon as possible, and to ensure
that their schooling does not become a
permanent deadend.”
Definition (AB 2193):
An English Learner in secondary schools who…..
Has been continuously or cumulatively enrolled in
US schools for 6+ years
Not met reclassification criteria
Evidence of inadequate progress (e.g., slow,
inadequate or stalled progress in English language
development
Is struggling academically (e.g., GPA of 2.0 or
below; grades of D or F in two or more core classes)
Building
Block#1:
Know who your
English
Learners are -the extent and
magnitude of
the LTEL issue
in your schools
Annual Expectations for
English Learners
Years in
US
1
year
2
3
years years
4
years
5
years
6
years
CELDT
BEG
EI
INT
INT
EA
ADV
CST
ELA
FBB
FBB
BB
BB+
Basic+ Prof+
CST
Math
FBB
FBB
BB
Basic+ Prof+
Prof+
Recent survey
• Data from 35 school districts (mix of suburban,
rural and urban; geographic diversity; small to
very large; vary in concentration of English
Learners)
• Data on 108,609 ELLs in grades 3 - 5
Indicators of Risk
• After 5 years – haven’t reached CELDT
proficiency
• After 5 years – stalled at Intermediate
Level III on CELDT for more than two
years
• After 5 years – scoring at FBB or BB on
CST-ELA
By fifth grade
• Almost half of students who enrolled in
Kindergarten as English Learners are
redesignated
• 52% of those who enrolled as an ELL in
Kindergarten are still English Learners
• Half of those have not yet reached CELDT
proficiency
• 1/3 have been stalled at Intermediate level for
MORE than two years
• ½ are scoring at FBB or BB on CST-ELA
Action Items

• Adopt a clear definition
• Develop expectations for progress based on
number of years of enrollment
• Use those expectations to identify students at
risk of becoming Long Term English Learners
• Disaggregate achievement data by number of
years in U.S. schools
See BB#1 Checklist and data template
A school – by the numbers
# years
Beg (I)
Early Int
(II)
Interm
(III)
1 yr. or
less
45
30
21
1
0
2 years
9
46
28
1
0
Three
years
6
28
45
3
1
Four years
3
17
57
12
3
12
59
17
6
13
51
20
12
Five Years
Six years +
1
Early Adv Adv. (V)
(IV)
A STUDENT ROSTER
Name
CELDT
# years
CELDT
CST
Roster
by Expectations
Expectation Expectation
ELD
Benchmark
Expectation
Almanzar, L.
III
5
No
No
No
Barajas, J.
IV
5
✔
No
✔
Cruz, D.
IV
6
No
✔
No
Escobedo,
M.
III
6
No
No
No
BUILDING BLOCK #2:
KNOW WHAT TO WATCH FOR!
Typical behavioral profile
• Learned passivity, non-engagement, underlying
discomfort in classes
• Don’t ask questions or ask for help
• Tend not to complete homework or understand
the steps needed to complete assignments
• Not readers
• Typically desire to go to college – high hopes and
dreams but unaware of pathway to those dreams
• Do not know they are doing poorly academically
– think they are English fluent
By 6th grade, they have distinct language
issues
• High functioning in social situations in both
languages – but limited vocabulary in both
• Prefer English – are increasingly weak in their
home language
• Weak academic language – with gaps in
reading and writing skills
• Are stuck in progressing towards English
proficiency
The continuum:
learning English as a second language
1
– 3 years


years
7 – 10



_______________________________________________________________________
No English
I
II
Oral,
social
English
III
CELDT
Proficient
CST Basic
IV
V
Proficient
for
Academic
work
Big discrepancy between CELDT Proficiency
and Basic on CST/ELA
Percent English Learners attaining these benchmarks statewide
What is an AMAO?
Annual Measurable Achievement Objective
• AMAO #1 – progress towards English proficiency
measured by CELDT levels (target 54.6%)
• AMAO #2 – attainment of English proficiency
which is defined as “CELDT proficient” (overall
Early Advanced, no domain less than
Intermediate) - (target: 43.2% those <5yrs)
• AMAO #3 – academic performance in English
measured by scoring proficient on CST in ELA and
Math (target: 67%)
Which levels on CELDT are meeting growth
target AMAO #1 (Alameda County)?
% meeting growth target of 1 level
Beginning (I)
70.5
Early Intermediate (II)
68.5
Intermediate (III)
46.2
Early Advanced (IV)
21.6
Advanced (V)
56.1
To get this data for your site….
•
•
•
•
www.cde.ca.gov
Dataquest
Level (county)
Subject: English Language Development Test
(CELDT)
• Select county and submit
• Click: CELDT results by prior proficiency
• Select the district; and then the site
Alameda Co. selected districts
District A
AMAO #1
met
66.0%
AMAO #2B (5+ yrs)
met
45.6%
District B
met
58.2%
Not met
36.5%
District C
met
58.5%
Not met
43.8%
District D
met
65.2%
met
52.7%
State target
56%
45.1%
Action Items

• Examine AMAOs for adequate growth and
patterns
• Conduct walkthroughs and observations, shadow
students to monitor active participation and
engagement
• Build staff understanding of CELDT and data and
normative expectations
• Celebrate progress
See BB#2 Checklist and data template
Building
Block #3:
Understand what practices contribute
towards the creation of LTELs – and what
may need to change
No services - mainstream
• Three out of four spent at least two years in
“no services” or mainstream
• This trend has increased in California schools
in past decade
Trend: Towards the weakest EL Program Models
Other contributing factors
•
•
•
•
Inconsistent program placements
Inconsistent implementation within programs
Social segregation and linguistic isolation
Transnational moves – transnational schooling
Unintended consequences
• Narrowed curriculum  academic gaps & lack
of academic language
• Professional development and monitoring are
tied to fidelity in implementation of core
curriculum packages that aren’t adequate for the
language development strategies English Learners
need
• Interventions as solution 
schedule filled
with inadequate and inappropriate support
classes, interventions that aren’t designed for
English Learners
CONFUSION
???
English Language
Arts
• Universal Access
• Preview/Review
English Language
Development
(ELD)
Reading Support,
English Intervention
Classes
The National Literacy Panel
“Instructional strategies effective with
native English speakers do not have as
positive a learning impact on language
minority students….. Instruction in the
key components of reading is necessary
but not sufficient for teaching language
minority students to read and write
proficiently in English.”
On the issue of interventions
• CAL (“Double the Work”) - reading interventions
designed for native speakers aren’t appropriate for
ELLs
• National Literacy Panel - good literacy and reading
interventions work for both ELL and proficient
students - but they work BETTER for English proficient
students (gap grows) and do not address some key
needs of LTELs
• From the 1.5 generation research on college
students, and linguistics research - appears that
WRITING may be a more powerful emphasis than
READING strategies for LTELs
In secondary schools….. (from the
Californians Together survey)
• 3 of 4 districts have no approach to serving
Long Term English Learners
• Majority of CA districts place their Long Term
English Learners into mainstream
• Three CA districts place Long Term English
Learners by English proficiency level with
other English Learners (in NYC, this is the
common placement)
Typical program placements
for English Learners
Intensive or strategic interventions!
SDAIE
Still English Learner, but in Mainstream
1 –
3 years





_______________________________________________________________________
No English
I
II
Oral,
social
English
III
CELDT
Proficient
CST Basic
IV
V
Proficient
for
Academic
work
Placements NOT designed for them…..
• Placed/kept in classes with newcomer and
normatively developing English Learners – by
CELDT level
• Unprepared teachers
• No electives – and limited access to the full
curriculum
• Over-assigned and inadequately served in
intervention and reading support classes
Secondary school version…..
• An EL is an EL is an EL  a struggling student is a
struggling student is a …..
• “Mainstream” curriculum and classes
• Perhaps ELD by CELDT level
• Support classes, intervention classes (based on
CST scores) that are designed for native English
speakers and focused primarily on reading
• CAHSEE prep
• No electives
• Difficulty fitting in A-G
So far…from the LTEL research
• Clearly defined EL program models (ELD plus
access), consistently implemented
• Consistency in placement and EL language
approach (no ping-pong)
• Importance of full academic curriculum
• Strategies that promote student engagement as
active learners
• Importance of scaffolding instruction
• No more “Interventions = EL Program” –
especially interventions designed for native
English speakers
• No more “Mainstream = EL Program”
Three converging forces
Long-term English
Learner Research
The Common Core
Standards
X
High leverage
Instructional
Strategies
English Learner
Research
Building Block #4:
Know the research, undo
misconceptions that lead to harmful
practices,
New generation of research
• National Literacy Panel on Language Minority
Children and Youth
• California Department of Education:
Research-based Practices for English Language
Learners (commissioned papers)
#1: Early childhood education
makes a difference
• Early years of development (cognitive,
linguistic, social) are crucial
• Quality preschool lays the foundation for
better outcomes for children once they enter
kindergarten
• Preschool reduces disparities and
longstanding achievement gaps between
groups
• Most powerful language policy/approach for
preschool is primary focus on home language
development
So…..
• Begin with preschool programs
• Active outreach/recruitment to English
Learner communities
• Attention to supporting the transition from
preschool into kindergarten
• Articulation, alignment between the two
systems (preschool and K-12)
#2: Importance of rich oral language
development
• There are four domains to language development
– oral language is key
• Producing language encourages learners to
process language more deeply than when just
listening or receptive.
• Verbal interaction is essential in the construction
of knowledge
• Oral language is the bridge to academic language
associated with school and the development of
literacy --
National Literacy Panel
finding
• Oral language development and proficiency is critical
to literacy… and is often (and increasingly)
overlooked in instruction
• It is not enough to teach reading skills alone to
language minority students; extensive oral English
development must be incorporated into successful
literacy instruction
• Oral proficiency and literacy in the first language
facilitates literacy development in English
So……
• Multiple and frequent structured
opportunities for students to be engaged in
producing oral language should be features of
classroom instruction
• The amount, type and quality of student talk
that is generated is a mark of good instruction
• Emphasize complex vocabulary development
• Model rich, expressive, amplified oral
language
#3:
Academic Language is essential –
complex, precise language is
essential
• Social, oral fluency (BICS) takes less time to
develop than academic proficiency (CALP)
• Academic language and literacy for ELs
develop most powerfully where background
knowledge is also being built – and in the
context of engaging with academic content
• Learning a second language for academic
success requires explicit language
development across the curriculum - ELD
alone is not sufficient
SIMPLE,
BASIC,
FUNCTIONAL
LANGUAGE
RICH,
COMPLEX,
PRECISE
LANGUAGE
SOCIAL
CONTEXTS
ACADEMIC
CONTEXTS


X
X
So…….
• Identify key academic vocabulary and
discourse patterns – and explicitly teach them
• Monitor the rigor and complexity of the
language used in text and instruction
• Set a high bar for sophisticated, complex,
precise language in both social and academic
domains
#4: Language develops in context
So……
• Intentional language development across the
curriculum
• Full curriculum – including rich science and
social studies
#5.
To access the curriculum, English
Learners need specially designed
instruction
SDAIE works when……
• Materials are designed for maximum
contextual cues, etc.
• Teachers understand which strategies are
meant for which levels of proficiency
• Students are grouped by level
• Instruction is paced appropriately - and key
power standards focused upon
• L1 is used as a support
So……
• Language objectives for content lessons based on
analyzing the linguistic demands of the content
• Identify key academic vocabulary and discourse
patterns and explicitly teach them
• Professional development related to making
content accessible to English Learners
• Home language support
• Home language instruction when possible
• “Generic” approaches must be differentiated
(e.g., Balanced Literacy)
#6:
ELD instruction can advance
knowledge and use of English – and
they need ELD through high levels of
proficiency
Daily dedicated time
Leveled by proficiency
These are related – but not the same
ELD
English
Language
Arts
Academic
language across
curriculum
#7:
Development of the home
language is important
The home language plays a significant role in
development
• The best foundation for literacy is a rich foundation in
language - not necessarily in English, but in the
language strongest for the child and his or her family.
• Children have more extended and complex vocabulary
and language skills if their home language is developed
• Bilingual children perform better than monolinguals on
select cognitive tasks
• English Learners make more academic progress when
they have the opportunity to learn in both their home
language and English
• Systematic, deliberate exposure to English + ongoing
development of L1 = highest achievement in both
languages by end of 3rd grade and beyond.
“The research indicates that instructional
programs work when they provide
opportunities for students to develop
proficiency in their first language. Studies that
compare bilingual instruction with English only
instruction demonstrate that language
minority students instructed in their native
language as well as in English perform better,
on average, on measures of English reading
proficiency than language-minority students
instructed only in English.”
National Literacy Panel on Language Minority
Children and Youth
Wayne Thomas and Virginia Collier
“A national study of school effectiveness for
Language Minority Students’ Long term
academic achievement”
2001
“The astounding effectiveness of dual
language education for all”
2004
www.crede.ucsc.edu/research/llaa/1.1_
final
And, there are benefits to
bilingualism…… so…..
• Home language instruction and development
whenever possible to high levels of proficiency
• Transfer focus and contrastive analysis
• Native speakers classes through to Advanced
Placement
• Create a climate that honors and affirms the
value of bilingualism
Common belief system
• Sooner and more fully immersed in English,
the better
• Good teaching and standards-based
curriculum work for all students and are
sufficient for ELLs
• English is the most important subject for ELLs
– the more hours, the better
• Home language holds students back
Action Steps

• Know the research
• Determine which aspects of the research are
most important to make known at this point in
to order to clarify myths/misconceptions that
may be in the way of delivering a strong EL
research-based program
Three converging forces
Long Term
English 
Learner
Research
The
Common
Core
Standards
English Learner
Research 
What are the Common Core Standards
(CCS)?
• College and career readiness standards
developed by National Governor’s Association
and CCSSO in 2009
• Adopted in 2010 by California SBE, along with
47 other states
• To be implemented in 2014-15 school year
• Internationally benchmarked “so all students
prepared to succeed in global economy and
society”
Increased Rigor so Students are
College and Career Ready
The new standards are the result of a state-led
effort to increase rigor and build consensus on
what students should know as they advance
from kindergarten through high school, so they
will graduate better prepared for college and
the modern workplace.
College and Career Readiness Standards
Preparation for
Rationale
•
•
•
•
• By 2018, 61% of jobs
in California will
require post
secondary education.
• This is 2 percentage
points below the
national average of
63%.
• California ranks 29th
in post secondary
intensity for 2018.
University
Community College
Technical Programs
Vocational Programs
Structure and Organization
CCS Anchor Standards
• Define what a college and career ready person
can do in the 21st century at the end of high
school
• Backwards map from 12th grade to
kindergarten
• Show progression for each standard from
kindergarten to 12th grade
• Have a consistent numbering system across
the K-12 ELA standards
Four Shifts
• Language development across the curriculum
• Increased focus on oral language and multiple
opportunities for developing speaking and
listening skills
• Use of more informational, rigorous and
complex texts
• Emphasis on collaboration, inquiry and
teamwork
Major Shift #1:
From Old Paradigm
then
Learn English
OR
Language
Academic
content
Academic vocabulary
as overlap
Academic
Content
To new CCS Paradigm:
language is central to all academic areas
MATH
SCIENCE
Language*
*
LANGUAGE ARTS
• instructional
discourse
• expressing and
understanding
reasoning
Shift: Increased focus on Speaking
and Listening
 Comprehension and Collaboration
Day to day, purposeful academic talk one to one,
small group and large group setting
 Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Formal sharing of information and concepts,
including through the use of technology
for all students, across the curriculum
Shift: Focus on more complex,
rigorous text (+ incr. in informational)
• ELLs will need background knowledge to
comprehend and critically engage with
academic text and at the levels of CCCS.
• Practices of a narrowed curriculum and years
spent in English and math interventions,
support classes and instruction (little or no
science, social studies, arts) have resulted in
gaps in ELL students’ essential academic
background knowledge.
Shift: Active engagement in
collaboration
• The CCSs recognize that students need to
develop skills to collaborate in academic work
– skills for teamwork, active and skillful
participation in discussions, and inquiry-based
collaboration.
(Anchor standard: Speaking and
Listening #1)
CCSs alone do not address a pathway
towards English proficiency for ELLs
• New English Language Development standards
aligned to the CCSs (adopted November 2012)
• Implementation of CCSs must be accompanied
by full implementation of the new ELD
standards
New ELD Standards aligned to CCS
• Language development focused on making meaning,
collaboration, comprehension, communication – with
content integral to language learning
• From traditional notion of grammar with syntax and
discrete skills at center to language within context of
discourse, text structure, syntax and vocabulary in
meaningful contexts
• Descriptors of 3 proficiency levels: collaborative
communication, interpretation, production of
language, metalinguistic awareness, accuracy of
production
• New adoption of materials in 2016; new ELD
assessment for 2015-16
CALIFORNIA NEXT GENERATION ELD STANDARDS
aligned to the Common Core ELA
LANGUAGE MODES
LANGUAGE PROCESSES
Interacting in Meaningful Ways
Learning How English Works
Collaborative
Structuring
Cohesive Texts
Productive
Emerging
Connecting
and
Condensing
Ideas
Interpretive
Expanding
Expanding
and
Enriching
Ideas
Bridging
The CCS as Opportunity for ELLs
• Many aspects of the CCS align with researchbased best practices for English Learners
• Many aspects of the CCS align with what ELLs
need to avoid becoming LTELs
• Yet the level of rigor and language
expectations pose challenges for ELLs.
Need for explicit attention to ELLs
• One in four California students are English
Learners.
• English Learners face specific language barriers to
participation and access, and have special needs.
• Most general school improvement efforts in the
past have inadequately addressed the
achievement gap for English Learners.
• The California Common Core Standards (CCSS)are
a major reform of public education that do not
explicitly state how English Learners needs should
be addressed.
Currently
•
•
•
•
Persistent achievement gap
Large number of Long Term English Learners
Narrowed curriculum and lack of access
Disproportionately high drop out rates
Current statewide practices provide
weak foundation
•Weak or non-existent ELD programs
•Lack of use of research-based and consistent
programs
•Insufficient use of SDAIE strategies to assist
comprehension and engagement
•Inadequate curriculum materials to scaffold
access to content
• Many ELLs fail to reach CELDT proficiency, a
low-bar for academic access and participation.
• Many ELLs become Long Term English
Learners stalled in progress towards
proficiency and amassing academic gaps.
• CCCS calls for ramped up rigor.
• CCCS implementation without attention to a
basic foundation of English Learner support
will fail.
• Roll out initial implementation of CCCSs with
focus on high leverage areas that overlap
between ELL research, LTEL research and CCCS
mandates
• Don’t forget the ELD standards
• Continue to build the understanding, skills,
capacity and foundation for strong ELL
programs
• Professional development for all teachers that
focus on the intersect!
Three imperatives!
Long Term
English
Learner
Prevent theResearch
harm! End
the creation
of LTELs
The Common
Core
Standards
English Learner
Research
Enact what we know
works!
Realize the
Promise;
Guard against
new barriers!
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Advancing the language and literacy of English Learners in