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English Language Development Standards

Web page for those interested in following the alignment of English language development (ELD) standards with current English language arts standards.

California Education Code (EC) Section 60811 requires the State Board of Education to approve standards for English language development (ELD) for pupils whose primary language is a language other than English. These standards shall be comparable in rigor and specificity to the standards for English language arts, mathematics, and science.

California English Language Development Standards: Kindergarten Through Grade 12

California English Language Development Standards (PDF)

The California English Language Development Standards (CA ELD Standards) amplify the California State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (ELA/Literacy). English learners need to have a purpose for using language (social function), know how to use the language meaningfully, and know how to access resources to be knowledgeable of language in order to be precise in language use to convey exact meaning.

The CA ELA/Literacy and CA ELD Standards both integrate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language as expressed in key themes of Meaning Making, Language Development, Effective Expression, Content Knowledge, and Foundational Skills.

The CA ELD Standards support English learners to use English purposefully. They support English learners to use language to interact meaningfully in school and beyond. They also support English learners to be knowledgeable about English and utilize language as a resource for communicating and learning.

The SBE adopted the CA ELD Standards in November 2012.

Printed publications of the CA ELD Standards can be purchased at CDE Press Educational Resources Catalog.

California English Language Development Standards Implementation Plan

Letter presenting the CA ELD Standards Implementation Plan to the Governor
Following the adoption of the California English Language Development Standards, EC Section 60811.3 (e) required the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the SBE present to the Governor, and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature, a schedule and implementation plan for integrating the new CA ELD Standards into the public education system.

CA ELD Standards Implementation Plan (PDF)
The CA ELD Standards Implementation Plan identifies major phases and activities in the implementation of the CA ELD Standards throughout California’s educational system. The plan describes the philosophy of, and strategies for, the successful integration of the CA ELD Standards that align to the ELA/Literacy to address English language and literacy skills English learners need in key content areas. The goal of the CA ELD Standards Implementation Plan is to serve as a guide of the major steps in the development, adoption, and implementation of the CA ELD Standards for local educational agencies and county offices of education.

Designated and Integrated ELD

Designated and Integrated ELD Video Series (Coming Soon)
The California Department of Education (CDE) and WestEd are developing a video series demonstrating integrated ELD and related designated ELD instruction for English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science in Transitional Kindergarten through grade twelve. More information is forthcoming.

Designated and Integrated English Language Development Letter to the Field (Dated September 18, 2015)
English learners face the unique challenge of learning English as they are also learning grade-level content through English. The CDE and the SBE recognize that both designated and integrated ELD is an integral part of a comprehensive program for every English learner student to meet the linguistic and academic goals at their grade level. The purpose of this letter is to provide guidance for instruction and additional resources.

ELA/ELD Framework
The ELA/ELD framework provides guidance for implementing the ELD Standards for designated and integrated ELD instruction. Chapter 2 provides essential consideration in designated and integrated ELD instruction. Chapters 3 through 7 provide guidance for the implementation of ELD instruction particular to each grade level. 

Integrated ELD into Math and Science

Integrating the California English Language Development Standards into K-12 Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning

The California Department of Education, in collaboration with WestEd, conducted a correspondence study to determine the relationship between the California English Language Development Standards (CA ELD Standards) and the California Mathematics Standards and between the CA ELD Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. The results of the study confirmed that the CA ELD Standards have a strong relationship with the mathematics and science standards and do not require any augmentations.

Integrating the CA ELD Standards into K–12 Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning: A Supplementary Resource for Educators Implementing in Tandem the California English Language Development Standards, the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards for California Public Schools (DOC; Dated December 16, 2015)

This supplementary resource (referred to as the integration document) was developed to support the implementation of the CA ELD Standards in mathematics and science subject content area instruction. This supplementary resource provides examples explicitly demonstrating the relationship between the ELD standards and the mathematics and science standards.

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI), in consultation with the SBE, convened a panel of experts in English language instruction, curriculum, and assessment (EC Section 60811.4 [b]). The panel of experts reviewed the correspondence study and provided recommendations to the study and the supplementary resource document.

The Panel of Experts consisted of educators throughout the state with expertise in ELD, mathematics, and science at various grade levels and experiences.

Panel of Expert Meetings

The first Panel of Experts meeting was held in Sacramento on April 2, 2015. Panel of Expert’s recommendations and public comment guided the development of the integration document.

The second panel of experts meeting was held in Sacramento on May 28, 2015. Panel of expert recommendations and public comment guided the development of the integration document.

30-Day Public Review and Comment

The SBE recommended making the draft supplementary resource available for public review and comment. Public review and comment closed on September 17, 2015. The public comments informed the revisions made to the integration document. (18-Nov-2015)

Correspondence Study Timeline of Events
Date Event
October 2014 WestEd conducted correspondence study.
January 2015 CDE opened the online application for panel of experts.
February 5, 2015 CDE closed the online application for panel of experts.
March 2, 2015 Appointments to the panel of experts were confirmed.
April 2, 2015 First panel of experts meeting and public comment.
May 28, 2015 Second panel of experts meeting and public comment.
July 8-9, 2015 SSPI made recommendations to the SBE to approve the Correspondence Study Report and open the integration document to 30-day review and public comment.
August-October 2015 WestEd revised integration document, incorporating feedback from the SBE and public comment.

Professional Learning Modules

The California English Language Development Standards (CA ELD Standards) professional learning modules (PLMs) are designed to help California educators understand the CA ELD Standards and how they can be used to guide instructional practice. The CA ELD Standards PLMs also provide guidance on using the CA ELD Standards in tandem with the California State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (ELA/Literacy), and other content standards.

The California English Language Development Standards: Getting Started External link opens in new window or tab.
PLMs are designed to provide an orientation to the CA ELD Standards, ideas for implementing the standards in different contexts, and in tandem with the ELA/Literacy, and opportunities to apply learning and reflect on instructional practice.

A Deeper Dive into the California English Language Development Standards External link opens in new window or tab.
PLMs are designed to provide deeper learning about implementing the CA ELD Standards in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms, guidance on implementing the standards in tandem with the ELA/Literacy, and opportunities for teachers to reflect on their instructional practice.

Other Resources

Blueprint for Effective Leadership and Instruction for our English Learners' Future (B.E.L.I.E.F.) External link opens in new window or tab.
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA)—Curriculum and Instruction Steering Committee (CISC)

The B.E.L.I.E.F. modules support district and site administrators with implementation of both integrated and designated ELD. The modules include current ELD research; opportunities to deepen understanding of integrated and designated ELD; activities to analyze, reflect upon, and refine programs for English learners; and follow-up activities to use with staff to support implementation.

Other Resources

English Language Development

English Parent/Guardian ELD Overview Brochures External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Spanish Parent/Guardian ELD Overview Brochures External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Parent/Guardian Overview Brochures for ELD explain the CA ELD Standards to parents/guardians, providing insights into what students will learn and highlighting progression through grade levels K–12.

Expanded View of the ELA/ELD Framework Resources
A collection of resources that support the implementation of the English Language Arts/English Language Development (ELA/ELD) Framework.

Supporting Content Learning in the Secondary Classroom through Literacy: Resources for Science, Mathematics, History/Social Science, ELD, and ELA External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
An abbreviated list of high‐utility resources was compiled to support teachers of grades six through twelve in all content areas to develop their students’ literacy skills. It is organized into four categories: Web sites, video‐based resources, books, and additional resources.

Other Resources

eStandards—English Language Development External link opens in new window or tab.
eStandards is designed to provide quick and easy access to California's state content standards.

California State Content Standards

English Language Development Standards (PDF)
The CA ELD Standards amplify the English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (ELA/Literacy). The CA ELD Standards support English learners to use English purposefully. They support English learners to use language to interact meaningfully in school and beyond. They also support English learners to be knowledgeable about English and utilize language as a resource for communicating and learning.

English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects Standards (PDF)
The ELA/Literacy Standards help ensure that all students are literate and college- and career-ready no later than the end of high school. The ELA/Literacy Standards set requirements not only for ELA, but also for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Just as students must learn to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively in a variety of content areas, so too must the standards specify the literacy skills and understandings required for college- and career-readiness in multiple disciplines.

Content Standards
Content standards were designed to encourage the highest achievement of every student, by defining the knowledge, concepts, and skills that students should acquire at each grade level in Mathematics, Science, History-Social Science, Visual and Performing Arts, World Language, Computer Science, Health Education, and others.

Curriculum Frameworks

English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
The 2014 ELA/ELD Framework has been developed to support and incorporate the ELA/Literacy and the CA ELD Standards for implementation of these interrelated Standards. The SBE adopted the ELA/ELD Framework on July 9, 2014.

All Curricular Frameworks
The SBE adopted curricular frameworks: Mathematics, Science, History-Social Science, Visual and Performing Arts, Foreign Language, Career Technical Education, Health Education, and others.

California English Learner Roadmap (EL Roadmap)

EL Roadmap Policy
The California EL Roadmap SBE Policy: Educational Program and Services for English Learners explicitly focuses on English learners in the context of the state’s efforts to improve the educational system, the quality of teaching and learning, and educational outcomes. It centers on standards, curriculum frameworks, assessment, accountability/school improvement, educator quality, early childhood/preschool, social and family support services, parent/community involvement, and higher education. Its purpose is to promote local capacity-building and continuous improvement in each of these areas and their interrelationship, based on evidence of effectiveness from local experience as well as the most current rigorous research evidence that speaks to the strengths and needs of the diverse population of English learners.

CDE Research and Publications

The 2010 CDE publication, Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches, is intended to assist school districts in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs for English learners. It is also intended to assist educators in addressing the instructional needs of English learners and to support the implementation of ELD, as well as the subject-matter standards and frameworks. This publication is available for purchase at CDE Press.

State and Federal Legal Citations

California Education for a Global Economy Initiative (CA Ed.G.E.)—Proposition 58 External link opens in new window or tab.
School districts and county offices of education will solicit input on, and provide to students, effective and appropriate instructional methods, including, but not limited to, establishing language acquisition programs, as defined in EC Section 306. This requirement is intended to ensure that all students, including English learners and native speakers of English, have access to the core academic content standards, including the English language development standards, as applicable, and become proficient in English.

Lau v Nichols 1974 External link opens in new window or tab.
The United States (U.S.) Supreme Court ruled in 1974 to affirm the rights of English learners to have equal access to a meaningful education. The civil rights of the class of students were violated by not being granted access to (1) English language development programs nor to, (2) meaningful access to the curriculum. Most importantly, equality in this case meant providing a program appropriate and targeted to the needs of English learners, and not just the same as what is provided to native speakers of English. 

Castañeda v Pickard 1981 External link opens in new window or tab.
Local educational agencies enrolling English learner students have a dual obligation to provide a program for English learners designed to overcome language barriers and provide access to the core curriculum (Castañeda v. Pickard 648 F.2d 989, [5th Cir. 1981]). This court ruling defines appropriate programming for English learners. The three prongs of the Castañeda ruling ask that the policies and practices adopted by a school or district be (1) based on sound educational theory, (2) implemented with sufficient rigor, and (3) demonstrate evidence of effectiveness in overcoming the language barriers and recouping any academic deficits incurred within a reasonable period of time.

Plyler v Doe 1982 External link opens in new window or tab.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1982 that Texas statutes that denied public school enrollment and withheld state funds from local school districts for children “illegally admitted” to the United States was unconstitutional. The Texas statutes violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects “any person,” not just “any citizen.” Because the Plyler decision applies to every state and is still valid, the same test of constitutionality applies to any state law that conditions school attendance on citizenship.

California Code of Regulations

Identification External link opens in new window or tab.
Local educational agencies must identify English learner students in need of language assistance in a timely manner.

Reclassification External link opens in new window or tab.
The goal of language acquisition programs is for students to become proficient in English as rapidly as possible and to meet state academic achievement measures. The reclassification procedures developed by the CDE shall utilize multiple criteria in determining when a student is ready to exit a district’s program and services for English learners.

CA Ed.G.E. Initiative—Proposition 58
The CA Ed.G.E. Initiative (Proposition 58) ensures that all children in California public schools receive the highest quality education, master the English language, and access high-quality, innovative, and evidence-based language programs that prepare them to fully participate in a global economy. The CA Ed.G.E. Initiative authorizes school districts and county offices of education to establish language acquisition programs for both native and non-native English speakers, and requires school districts and county offices of education to solicit parent and community input in developing language acquisition programs.

English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC) External link opens in new window or tab.
A committee comprised of parents, staff, and community members, specifically designated to advise school officials on English learner program services.

District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) External link opens in new window or tab.
A committee comprised of ELAC parents, staff, and community members, specifically designated to advise district officials on English learner program services.

Questions:   Language Policy and Leadership Office | 916-319-0845
Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 4, 2018
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