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Instructional Strategies that Support the Success of English Language Learners (page 2)

— State: Rhode Island Department of Education
Updated on Mar 13, 2010

Respect the student’s primary language and culture

Schools should send home a strong message that the family language and culture represent valuable assets to be preserved as students learn English and master new content in English. Additionally, schools should not prevent students from using their primary languages during the school day, even when bilingual instruction cannot be offered. Two or more students speaking the same language can be an effective way to share content information learned in classes and can provide an important break from English, particularly for recent arrivals.

Ensure that educators and parents are familiar with English language learner levels

Level 1—Beginning/Preproduction (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) level = Entering)
A pupil shall be classified level 1 if the pupil does not understand or speak English, with the exception of a few isolated words or expressions.

Level 2—Beginning/Production (WIDA level = Beginning)
A pupil shall be classified level 2 if all of the following criteria are met:
a) The pupil understands and speaks conversational and academic English with hesitancy and difficulty.
b) The pupil understands parts of lessons and simple directions.
c) The pupil is at a pre-emergent or emergent level of reading and writing in English, significantly below grade level.

Level 3—Intermediate (WIDA level = Developing)
A pupil shall be classified level 3 if all of the following criteria are met:
a) The pupil understands and speaks conversational and academic English with decreasing hesitancy and difficulty.
b) The pupil is post-emergent, developing reading comprehension and writing skills in English.
c) The pupil’s English literacy skills allow the student to demonstrate academic knowledge in content areas with assistance.

Level 4—Advanced Intermediate (WIDA level = Expanding)
A pupil shall be classified level 4 if all of the following criteria are met:
a) The pupil understands and speaks conversational English without apparent difficulty but understands and speaks academic English with some hesitancy.
b) The pupil continues to acquire reading and writing skills in content areas needed to achieve grade-level expectations with assistance.

Level 5—Advanced (WIDA level = Bridging)
A pupil shall be classified level 5 if all of the following criteria are met:
a) The pupil understands and speaks conversational and academic English well.
b) The pupil is near proficient in reading, writing, and content area skills needed to meet grade-level expectations.
c) The pupil requires occasional support.

Level 6—Formerly Limited English Proficient/Now Fully English Proficient
A pupil shall be classified level 6 if all of the following criteria are met:
a) The pupil was formerly limited English proficient and is now fully English proficient.
b) The pupil reads, writes, speaks, and comprehends English within academic classroom settings.

Level 7—Fully English Proficient/Never Limited English Proficient
The student was never classified as limited English proficient and does not fit the definition of a limited English proficient student outlined in either state or federal law.

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