Each of the eight content areas taught in Maine schools has its own set of standards, collectively known as the Maine Learning Results. Since 1997, the Maine Learning Results have provided a framework from which educators can build their curriculum, instruction, and assessments. Alongside these content standards, students learning English have been supported with a cohesive set of English language development (ELD) standards, aligned to the academic content they are learning.
This year Maine participated in the US Department of Education’s assessment peer review process for the English language proficiency assessment, through which the need for officially adopted ELD standards was emphasized. Therefore, the Maine Department of Education is officially adopting the WIDA ELD Standards as the foundation for language instruction for students who are English learners (ELs).
In use in Maine since 2007, the WIDA ELD Standards are an essential tool for student learning. WIDA is a non-profit educational consortium with 40 members, including the Maine Department of Education. In addition to the WIDA ELD Standards, WIDA provides Maine educators with a suite of high-quality instructional and assessment tools for students who are ELs, as well as professional learning for educators.
The five ELD standards support all Maine educators to engage students who are ELs in the academic language needed to access the Maine Learning Results. Both the Maine Learning Results and the WIDA ELD Standards were developed through extensive educator collaboration and have been regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the changing demands of college and career readiness.
- Standard 1: Social and Instructional Language- communicate for social and instructional purposes within a school setting
- Standard 2: Language of Language Arts- communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of language arts
- Standard 3: Language of Mathematics- communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of mathematics
- Standard 4: Language of Science- communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of science
- Standard 5: Language of Social Studies- communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the content area of social studies
For more information about the WIDA ELD Standards, or for support in implementing them effectively in your district, please contact April Perkins, Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207)624-6627. For information about English language proficiency assessments please contact Sue Nay, ACCESS Assessment Coordinator at Sue.Nay@maine.gov or (207) 624-6774.