Compliance Related to Curriculum and Instruction
EXCERPTS FROM THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY BENCHMARKS AND OUTCOMES (ELPBO) FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (DOE, 2003)
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.
The English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes (ELPBO) 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 student's 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 Education's 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 Commonwealth's 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.
Central Themes of the ELPBO
Three themes are found throughout this document:
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 instruction in mathematics, science and technology/engineering, history and social science, and other content areas. Academic content learning need not be delayed or weakened while limited English proficient students acquire English since language acquisition is enhanced when integrated into academic instruction and activities.