Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)
MA English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (MA ELPS)
May 2, 2019
Dear ESOL Program Director:
It has come to my attention that ESOL programs may be concerned that the release of the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (i.e., MA ELPS) will negatively affect their ability to meet the June 30, 2019 ESOL curriculum deadline. I am writing to respond to this concern. The ESOL curriculum policy on our website says:
"Programs offering ESOL instruction are required to use curriculum aligned to the CCRSAE and supported by the standards and benchmarks of the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English for Speakers of Other Languages (i.e., ESOL Curriculum Framework ) by June 30, 2019. ESOL curriculum and instruction are required to reflect the CCRSAE instructional shifts and align with the CCRSAE levels A through D–E."
What does this mean now that the MA ELPS have been released? If your program's curriculum is aligned to the CCRSAE and supported by the standards and benchmarks of the ESOL Curriculum Framework and your teachers are delivering rigorous ESOL instruction guided by the CCRSAE instructional shifts, then your program is on the right track and well on its way to curriculum alignment with the MA ELPS. Why? Because the MA ELPS integrate standards from both the ESOL Curriculum Framework and the CCRSAE, as well as the CCRSAE instructional shifts, in a single document.
If your program's curriculum is not yet aligned to the CCRSAE and supported by the standards and benchmarks of the ESOL Curriculum Framework and your teachers are not yet delivering rigorous ESOL instruction guided by the CCRSAE instructional shifts, then your program needs to catch up. Starting right now, I urge you to begin exploring and using the MA ELPS to upgrade your curriculum and deliver the rigorous instruction the CCRSAE demand and students need. Teachers will find that using the MA ELPS is more "teacher-friendly" than using both the CCRSAE and the ESOL Curriculum Framework because the standards and shifts are combined in a single document.
Beginning July 1, 2019, all programs offering ESOL instruction will be required to use curriculum aligned to the standards and benchmarks of the MA ELPS and the CCRSAE for Math. If you have not done so, I encourage you to begin now to update your existing ESOL curriculum so that it references the MA ELP standards and benchmarks, though the updating does not have to be completed by June 30, 2019. Any new curriculum material developed after June 30 will benefit by referencing the MA ELP standards and benchmarks.
Consider using the resources below, identified by Jane Schwerdtfeger, ACLS Curriculum Specialist, and Dori McCormack, Director of the SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum and Instruction PD Center, to begin working towards this goal.
New to ESOL instruction? Teachers can contact Dori McCormack at the SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum and Instruction PD Center for support or to register for the workshop, ESOL Professional Standards: An Introduction. Directors can contact Luanne Teller at the SABES Program Support PD Center for support with educational leadership.
Struggling with curriculum development? Contact the SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum and Instruction PD Center for an experienced practitioner curriculum coach to help you. Or, use Understanding by Design1 or the concise and very useful Solving 25 Problems in Unit Design2 to guide your work.
Unsure if you're on the right track aligning ESOL curriculum to the CCRSAE instructional shifts? Review the three instructional shifts for English Language Arts/Literacy in the CCRSAE, pages 9–10. See also the ELA Instructional Practice Guide, resources on the SABES CCRSAE for ELA page, the short video overview of the CCRSAE for Math, and the SABES CCRSAE for Math page.
Need help aligning your ESOL instruction to the CCRSAE for Math? Visit the SABES Math and Numeracy Curriculum and Instruction PD Center webpage for resources and PD opportunities, such as Mathematizing ESOL I, II, and III, and the Math Packets for ESOL on topics such as health and employment.
Almost but not quite there? Contact the SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum and Instruction PD Center to review your curriculum materials and provide feedback, or to discuss your questions.
With appreciation for your efforts on behalf of adult education students and their families,
Adult Education State Director
1 Wiggins, Grant, and Jay McTighe. Understanding by Design, 2nd ed. (ASCD, 2005)
2 McTighe, Jay, and Grant Wiggins. Solving 25 Problems in Unit Design. (ASCD, 2015)
Last Updated: May 2, 2019