English Learner Education
The Mission of Medford Public Schools’ English Learner Education Program is to provide inclusive and effective learning opportunities and positive school experiences for ELs to thrive at every level of education. EL students will graduate from Medford High School with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be successful in college and/or a career of their choice, and to contribute to civic life in a global community.
The Vision of English Learner Education in the Medford Public Schools is one in which all educators share responsibility for the success of English Learner (EL) students. Teachers are well-versed in culturally responsive teaching and view students through an asset-based lens rather than from a deficit perspective. English learners have equitable and inclusive access to both meaningful and rigorous learning opportunities that build on their cultural and linguistic assets and to the academic, linguistic, social, and emotional supports they need to excel. Educators hold EL students to high standards and have the materials and professional learning they need to advance students’ academic and linguistic development simultaneously.
WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework
The Medford Public Schools uses the state-mandated WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework as our base to provide EL students with a foundation for curriculum, instruction and assessment for multilingual learners in kindergarten through grade 12. Embedded within these grade levels are six levels of English Language Proficiency.
Six Levels of English Language Proficiency
Level 1 – Entering
Level 2 – Emerging
Students at the Entering and Emerging stages of language proficiency are classified as Newcomers and require significant support to access grade level content instruction delivered in English.
Level 3 – Developing
Students at the Developing stage of language are classified as “pull-out” students who require continued language and instructional support to access content area instruction delivered in English.
Level 4 – Expanding
Students with at least an overall score of 4.2 and a composite literacy score of 3.9 on ACCESS for ELLs may have acquired enough English language skills to be reclassified by the district. Such students may be reclassified as former English learners (FELs) if they are able to demonstrate the ability to perform ordinary class work in English that includes district assessments.
Level 5 – Bridging
Complex and varied language demands on ELs in late elementary, middle, and high school may necessitate the decision to maintain the EL classification of some students. If a student remains in the program, the student must still receive services and supports appropriate for the student’s English proficiency level in each domain.
Level 6 – Reaching
Students at this level will be reclassified as former English learners (FELs)
The ELD Standards
The ELD Standards Framework is centered on equity and fosters the assets, contributions and potential of multilingual learners. These standards are embedded in the grade levels as well as the English language proficiency levels.
Standard 1 - Language for Social and Instructional Purposes
English language learners communicate for social and instructional purposes within the school setting.
Standard 2 - Language for Language Arts
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of language arts.
Standard 3 - Language for Mathematics
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of mathematics.
Standard 4 - Language for Science
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of science.
Standard 5 - Language for Social Studies
English language learners communicate information, ideas and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of social studies.
This framework promotes and guides systematic, explicit, and sustained language development that supports collaboration among educators to plan for content and language integration in culturally and linguistically sustaining ways. Multilingual learners’ languages and cultures are valuable resources to be leveraged for schooling and classroom life; leveraging these assets and challenging biases help develop multilingual learners’ independence and encourage their agency in learning.
WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition