Florida State Standards and WIDA Standards

The Language Arts Florida Standards (LAFS) include the English Language Arts standards in grades K-12 as well as the content-area literacy standards for middle school and high school instruction in the following content areas: history/social studies, science, and technical subjects.

The WIDA English Language Development Standards were adopted by Florida in June, 2014.   The English Language Development Standards are organized into the following four domains and six proficiency levels:

• Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing
• Six language proficiency levels: 1-Entering, 2-Beginning, 3-Developing, 4-Expanding,
5-Bridging, and  6-Reaching
• Five grade-level clusters: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12.

To find more information on these standards please visit the site listed below. 

2014 Language Arts Florida Standards

2014 Mathematics Florida Standards

WIDA English Language Development Standards

ELL Proficiency Levels (PDF)

Understanding the proficiency levels of you ELLs is crucial to their success.  The WIDA site contains comprehensive information regarding the proficiency levels of ELLs.  The proficiency levels range from Newcomer (Pre-Production), Early Production, Speech Emergent, and Intermediate.  The ELL Proficiency Level PDF here will serve as a condensed guide, and will give you a brief overview of each of the proficiency levels and what and examples of what and ELL can produce in terms of reading, writing, speaking, at each of those levels.  There is also information regarding which instructional strategies work best for each of the levels.  Each student is going to range in their proficiency level.  You will need to vary your activities and instructional practices for each student based on their level, making sure that you are providing realia, visual aids, graphic organizers, and any other support to increase language proficiency.

ESOL Strategies (PDF)


Vocabulary Development and Grammar Instruction

Teaching contextualized and robust grammar and vocabulary through the use of appropriate instructional strategies is crucial to the success of an ELL student, as well as their ability to improve their language proficiency and vocabulary.  Understanding vocabulary in context is critical to reading comprehension, writing, listening and speaking skills. Vocabulary words should be tiered, and always taught in context. 

Additionally, grammar should be explicitly taught, and contextualized throughout your lessons.  It is important to remember that you consider the task and level of language necessary to complete the task.  Then consider how you will differentiate or make accommodations for your ELL students, depending on their proficiency level.   As you are planning consider asking yourself the following questions:

• What language forms or functions are necessary for my students to understand and complete the task?
• What grammatical forms should I address prior, during, and after the lesson?
• What level are my ELLs and will they have the necessary language development to complete the required task?
• How will I modify the text, lesson, or my delivery to make it the most comprehensible for the ELLs in my classroom?

Academic Language and ELLs: What Teachers Need to Know


6 Steps for Successful Vocabulary Instruction (Adapted from New Levine and McCloskey, 2nd Edition, Teaching English Language Content in the Mainstream Classes)

1. Present, pronounce and define the word.  – How will you present the word in context? How will you define the word? How will you practice or teach the pronunciation of the word?  Are there any cognates for the word?

2. Assist students in pronouncing the word a number of times.   How can you include a game, activity, call and response, or other techniques to engage the students in this part of the vocabulary development process?

3. Provide examples of the word used in different contexts.  Does the word have multiple meanings? If so, what are the multiple meanings? How will you provide an opportunity for the students to learn and experience the multiple meanings of the word?

4. What activities will you carry out to actively engage the learners with the word?  How will you provide a variety of encounters with the word that lead to deep, rich understanding? How will you provide opportunities for them to use the word in context?

5. Create a visual representation of the word.  What types of activities could you use to allow the students to engage visually with the word (semantic mapping, word walls, personal dictionaries, word squares, visual aids such as photos or realia, etc.)

6. Discuss alternate forms of the word.  What is the function of this word? Is it a noun, verb, adverb, adjective? How does the meaning of the word change depending on its part of speech? Are there any cognates for the word? If so, what are they?