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CCR standards and English Language Learners

Hi all,

In South Carolina we are continuing a long discussion on standards and content objectives for the adult ESL population, and I'd like to understand more about how this is approached in other places.

How are you using the College and Career Readiness Standards for English Language Learners in your state/organization?  If you have other standards in place, how will you approach integrating these?  Will you?  Adn if you do not have other standards in place, are you considering using these for your ESL population? How?

I'd love to open up a discussion on this to see how you all are approaching this issue.

 

thanks,

Kim Carroll

English for Life Academy

SC ESL Task Force, State Dept of Education

Comments

Miriamb3's picture
One hundred

Kim's question about using CCR Standards with adult English language learners and what folks are doing about this across the country is a good one.

I'd like to hear what you are doing as well. The document for the standards can be found at

http://lincs.ed.gov/publications/pdf/CCRStandardsAdultEd.pdf

The ELA Standards are on pages 14- 20. If I could summarize them in one sentence I would say it a push to get students to engage with the text – whether in reading, writing, or speaking and listening. The standards are also linked to grade levels.

Here is what I am thinking about: In adult ESL classes we often focus heavily on the need to build background with our students – to link their experiences with the content and language they are learning. This can be a daunting job as the culture and vocabulary in an article they are reading, for example, may be quite “foreign” to the students.

This building background serves to both prepare the students for the vocabulary they will need (see, for example, Burt, Peyton, & Van Duzer, 2005 at http://lincs.ed.gov/professional-development/resource-collections/profile-322) and to motivate students to “engage” with the language and content (see, for example, Miller, S. F., 2010 at http://www.cal.org/adultesl/resources/briefs/working-with-adult-english-language-learners.php-).

I’m wondering how programs and states are working on addressing the need to connect/motivate/engage English language learners with the language and content in their texts before asking learners to connect with the text?

Miriam

Phil Anderson's picture
Fifty

Thank you for sharing the information and your input on College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult ESL teachers, Miriam.

The link to the document on motivation did not work for me, but when I took the hyphen off, it opened just fine.  Here it is without the hyphen. http://www.cal.org/adultesl/resources/briefs/working-with-adult-english-language-learners.php.

The Adult College and Career Readiness Standards report distributed by USDOE Office of Adult and Vocational Education is an excellent document, in my view.  It has become dog-eared on my desk since the first day it came out in April of this year.

I think it is fair to say that the document is primarily for programs that have ABE and Adult Secondary students, and not ESL students.  However, after studying the standards, it seems that most of them could probably be used in the ESL setting with no modification.  There are some that can be modified easily for ESL.  However, and this is where the real work starts, it is likely there may be a need to refer back to the original set of College and Career Readiness standards to find standards that would directly apply to the instruction of ESL students. 

Perhaps some specifc Second Language Acquisition needs of ESL students may need to be inserted into the standards.  The CAELA brief, "How Should Adult ESL Reading Instructin Differ From ABE Reading Instruction," would seem to be a good starting point.  The CAELA brief covers some points that would help to ensure that the CCR standards address ESL students, particularly in writing, speaking and listening.  They would need to cover letter-sound correspondence (listening and speaking), teaching parts of words: prefix and suffix (writing), teaching the rules of past-tense spelling and sounds [laughed, climbed, wanted] (listening, speaking, writing) as well as the parts of speech and their roles.  Perhaps the Adult CCR Standards already does address these and I have missed them.

For the majority of the Adult Education CCR standards, it seems to me that no modification will be needed in the way they are stated.  The difference will be in the instructional approach, tailoring them to fit the needs of ESL.  As commented by Miriam, classroom teachers will need to be aware that the culture and experiences of the students needs to be taken into account.  The students' own culture can be used as a source of materials. readings, discussion topics, and to motivate students.  The culture of the U.S. can be explicitly taught as "you need to know this" topics.  As the CAELA brief points out, when an ESL student lacks cultural knowledge about something they find in a reading passage, this impedes understanding of the entire passage.

I think the most important statement of the entire report put out by MPR for OVAE is found in the middle of page 8. "Fourth, the standards are not a curriculum, and states or programs choosing to adopt them will need to complement the standards with high-quality curricula that align with the content and expectations." (Emphasis mine.)

Another area that I find challenging is to know what are the ESL NRS levels that would apply to the Adult Education CCR Standards.  It will be important to do the detailed work of unpacking the Adult Ed CCR Standards to check and see what is the cognitive demand they expect of students.  The work being done by the "Standards in Action" project out of Kentucky Adult Eduction Office has been very helpful in this and other aspects of understanding the standards.

For example, for programs using CASAS, there is a table that shows that the first level of ABE covers the first 3 levels of ESL, generally speaking.  However, this does not mean for 100% certain that level A of the Adult Ed CCR Standards would be applicable to the first 3 levels of ESL.  I think it is still important to the work of unpacking the standards to see what is their cognitive demand, and place them according to the NRS levels for ESL.

I am not sure if a table will show correctly in this post, but I will try.  This table shows that the first three levels of ESL are combined in the first level of ABE.  This means that the standards in level A of the Adult College and Career Readiness Standards report distributed by USDOE Office of Adult and Vocational Education might apply primarily to ESL students in NRS levels 1-3.  The standards for levels  B, C, and D might apply primarily to ESL students in NRS levels 4, 5, and 6.

ESOL

Levels

CASAS + NRS

CCSS

Anchor

Standards

ABE

Levels

CASAS + NRS

CASAS ESOL

Level

CASAS

ESOL Level

Name

NRS ESOL Level-CASAS Scores

NRS

ESOL Level

Name

Grade Level

Level

(A–E)

CASAS ABE Level

CASAS

ABE Level

Name

NRS ABE Level-CASAS Scores

NRS

ABE Level
Name

A

Beg. Literacy/
Pre- Beg. ESL

1

0-180

Beg. ESL Literacy

K

A

 

 

 

 

A

Low Beg.

ESL

2

181-190

Low Beg. ESL

1

A

A

Beginning Literacy/
Pre-Beginning

1

0-200

Beginning

ABE Literacy

A

High Beg.

ESL

3

191-200

High Beg. ESL

1

A

 

 

 

 

B

Low Int.

ESL

4

201-210

Low Int. ESL

2-3

B

B

Beginning

Basic Skills

2

201-210

Beginning Basic Education

B

High Int.

ESL

5

211-220

High Int. ESL

4-5

C

B

Intermediate

Basic Skills

3

211-220

Low Int. Basic Education

C

Advanced ESL

6

221-235

Advanced ESL

6-8

D

C

Advanced

Basic Skills

4

221-235

High Int. Basic Education

D

Adult Secondary

236-245

 

9-10

E

D

Adult

Secondary

5

236-245

Low Adult Secondary Education

E

Proficient Skills

246+

 

11-12

E

E

Advanced Adult Secondary

6

246+

High Adult Secondary

Phil Anderson

Adult ESOL Program Specialist

Florida Department of Education, Career and Adult Education

(850) 245-9450

Phil Anderson's picture
Fifty

I see that the table I tried to insert in the post I just sent lost the formatting.  If anyone wishes to get a copy, you can email me at philip.anderson@fldoe.org

Meryl Becker-Prezocki's picture
One hundred

Hi Phil,

Thank you for your words of wisdom.  I really enjoyed reading your comments.  I wanted to also express that we are both on the same page when it comes to the fourth design parameter that shaped the standards work that you mentioned.  The fact that the standards are not a curriculum has great importance for me too.

Meryl Becker-Prezocki

rocurtis's picture
First

Meryl,

I agree and note the same. It is great to have standards but, what educators need are curricula. Presentig the question: Why are curricula not being prepared? Not mapped actual curricula written, that which is a teaching guide to pass the new GED.

Meryl Becker-Prezocki's picture
One hundred

Bob,

I believe that in many programs teachers have started to write new lessons and units that go along with a more demanding assessment.  I am sure that we will be bombarded with lots of new "curriculum" from the publishing companies relatively soon.

Meryl

Phil Anderson's picture
Fifty

Meryl,

Thank you for your support in the grand effort to utilize the CCR standards to their full potential.

I think that while it would be wonderful if a company were to write a set of curricula for adult ELL instruction, it is probably just as important that localized groups of practitioners could do this in ways that benefit their students even more than using an "off the shelf" product.

When thinking of writing a set of curriculum competencies/benchmarks based on the standards for adult education selected by MPR in the OVAE report, there is one aspect of the standards that becomes apparent upon careful study.  This aspect is that many of the standards cut accross one or more levels of the NRS for ESL.  The standards may have been placed into five levels, A, B, C, D, E for purposes of adult education curriculum development, but some of them are not tightly bound within a particular level.

Although I don't consider myself to be an expert in this (which is why the input of a group of practitioners is important), I will go out on a limb here. For example, this standard, "Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text." (RI.3.6), is one that I think could have curriculum competencies written for it that range from NRS levels from Low Beginning to Low Intermediate.  It could also be used in several life-skill areas.  The FLDOE Adult ESOL Curriculum is organized into 7 life-skill areas, and this standard could have competencies written for it in several of the life skill areas, communication, health care, government, etc.  I think we can address some of the standards in curriculum that ranges across more than one NRS level, as well as across several life-skill areas.

For those who may be interested, the FLDOE Adult ESOL curriculum can be found at: http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/dwdframe/ad_frame.asp

I am anxious to hear the thoughts of others with more experience!

Phil Anderson

Adult ESOL Program, Florida Department of Education

850-245-9450  

 

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