Blueprint for English Language Learners (ELLs) Success

The Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies, in the New York State Education Department, released a blueprint that describes principles aimed to clarify expectations for administrators, policymakers, and practitioners to prepare English language learners (ELLs) for college and career readiness and to meet the high demands of the Common Core.

Content Comments 

The Blueprint sets forth a clearly-defined set of foundational expectations for all New York (NY) state districts and schools: all educators are responsible for ELL success; students' home languages, literacy, and families provide assets and cultural resources on which teaching and learning should be built; and formative assessment and diagnostic tools should be used to inform instruction. As with educators in other states, NY educators will need to shift in their approaches to English language development (1) to avoid over-focusing ELL instruction on language forms and decontextualized use of language functions and to also include for ELLs at the upper three levels (Transitioning, Expanding, and Commanding levels) meaningful instruction around the actual use of forms and functions and (2) to provide intentional learning opportunities to ensure that instruction around the language demands of the CCSS go beyond the ELA instructional block to other content areas, including science, social studies, and mathematics.