Here in Massachusetts, the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) wants your opinion.
EEC is holding two public hearings on its adoption of the WIDA Early English Language Development Standards (E-ELD) for children who are 2.5 to 5.5 years old.
As EEC says on its website, the E-ELD Standards are designed to:
• “help guide lesson planning to ensure that the different linguistic needs of dual language learners [DLLs] are being met”
• support dual language learners as they reach their next level of English Language Development
• inform decisions about class composition, staffing, curriculum, and assessment in programs that serve dual language learners, and
• help programs that serve dual language learners to make better use of EEC’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
The E-ELD Standards are aligned with K-12 English Language Development Standards, and as WIDA explains:
“Specific consideration has been given to the nature of early language and cognitive development, family and community-based socio-cultural contexts for language learning, and the psycholinguistic nature of second language acquisition in preschoolers who are still developing the foundational structures and rules of language.”
An E-ELD Resource Guide is available here. Look on the right side of the webpage under the “Downloads and Products” banner.
According to the resource guide, the standards can be used by “a wide range of community- and school-based ECE programs that serve young DLLs, ages 2.5–5.5. Teachers and practitioners, teaching assistants, childcare providers, early childhood special education teachers, speech/language clinicians, and administrators might use the E-ELD Standards in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes.”
One example: “practitioners may use the E-ELD Standards to determine the kinds of language supports DLLs at different levels of English language development may need during large group early literacy or circle time activities, so that children understand and can participate with the entire group.”
Another example: special educators and/or speech/language clinicians might use “the E-ELD Standards to help determine the linguistic needs of DLLs with disabilities when writing individualized education program (IEP) goals and when helping DLLs with disabilities reach their IEP goals.”
The public hearings will both be held tomorrow, March 26th, 2015, at EEC’s Central Massachusetts Regional Office, 10 Austin Street, Worcester, Mass.
The first meeting will run from 10 a.m. to noon.
The second meeting will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition, written feedback can be submitted online at http://bit.ly/e-eld-feedback until March 31, 2015.
So attend a meeting or submit your comments in writing and let EEC know what you think.