Voting and Chatting about the CCSS for ELLs

I was planning on attending the Alliance for Excellent Education’s CCSS/ELL face to face and webinar events in Washington, DC last week and blogging about them. Even though they were cancelled last week due to Hurricane Sandy, there have still been many discussions taking place this week that highlight the importance of effectively serving ELLs through the CCSS. I’ll tell you about a couple of them – please add to our conversation by making comments to this blog.


While your attention may be turned to a different type of vote taking place today, California’s State Board of Education will be voting tomorrow to approve California's English Language Development standards that correspond to the English Language Arts CCSS. WestEd worked collaboratively with California to develop the ELD standards. California is also a member state in the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century or ELPA21 Consortium which will develop a common English language proficiency assessment. (You can read the ELPA21 proposal narrative here.) It will be interesting to see how other ELPA21 member states might utilize California’s ELD standards when revising or adopting English language proficiency standards for their state that correspond to the CCSS.


I participated in #ELLChat, a live chat on Twitter that takes place each Monday night at 9:00 p.m. EST that is hosted by Judie Haynes and Karen Nemeth. The topic of this week’s chat was – you guessed it – the CCSS for ELLs. Judie had assembled several articles on the CCSS and ELLs here that were very helpful in grounding our discussion. Our conversation covered several topics in just one hour, including the role of grammar in the CCSS, collaboration between ESL and content teachers, getting school administrators on board, scaffolding instruction, professional development, pre-service teacher preparation, advocacy, and assessment. I encourage you to take part in #ELLChat live or join in on the conversation during the week.

Upcoming CCSS ELL Events: Two Webinars

There are two CCSS ELL events I’d like to let you know about. The first is the American Federation of Teachers’ Second Roundtable on the CCSS and ELLs on Nov. 13th from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. EST.

It will feature presentations by the two consortia developing assessments for the Common Core State Standards—Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC).

Additionally, there will be presentations by Stanford University’s Understanding Language initiative, the Council of Chief State School Officers and Colorín Colorado. Leslie Maxwell also just blogged about the content of the upcoming webinar on Education Week’s Learning the Language blog. I’ll be attending in person and will post about it next week.

The second webinar is hosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands (REL-NEI) English Language Learners research alliance.

REL-NEI’s free webinar will be held on November 28 at 3:30 p.m. EST on the topic of English Language Learners and the Common Core State Standards. The webinar’s keynote speaker is Dr. Kenji Hakuta from Stanford University.



It is very interesting that California has adopted a Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) orientation in its ELD standards. It is the first to do so in the US. Howevrt. SFL is basis for ELD standards in Australia and New Zealand as well as all language teaching and learning in these nations.
I agree Diane it will be intriguing how the ELPA 21 assessment consortium states incorporate the CA ELD Standards.

Diane, I'm looking forward to your updates on these discussions. It's exciting to see so much interest in and focus on the needs of our K-12 ELLs.

The diversity of needs within the big ELL "tent" is a piece that needs to be kept in mind too. For example, the EL kindergartener who speaks Spanish at home has different English language learning challenges from the refugee who arrives from Somalia at 14 without print literacy. I'm hoping that immigrant and refugee advocates are following these CCSS changes and providing input along with other stakeholders.

The newly-adopted (it's official!) California ELD standards have a "Foundational Literacy Skills" section which they recommend adapting and accelerating to meet the needs of secondary ELs. This sounds promising for Newcomers who need that intensive instruction in order to catch up in time for college and careers.

Page, Middle School ELL Teacher

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