Ask Fatima: Recommendations for exiting services
This month, Fatima provides recommendations to educators about exiting services.
What resources are available to help educators understand when a student is proficient in English and no longer needs EAL support?
WIDA creates assessments to help educators measure growth and research-based tools and resources that support language development for multilingual learners. WIDA does not make recommendations on what the exit criteria should be, since each International School Consortium member school determines its own exit criteria. WIDA recommends that WIDA English proficiency level is considered as only one criterion, within a body of evidence including teachers’ observations, achievement on content standards and work samples.
Within each school, exit criteria can be set based on performance of students who had exited previously and successfully managed mainstream classes without EAL support in that particular school context. Exit criteria for WIDA states in the U.S. usually range from a composite Proficiency Level of 4.0-5.0. Establishing an exit score at each school depends on the learning environment into which students are exiting.
Below are some resources that you may consult. Although this research includes recommendations based on U.S. policy, there is relevant guidance for international schools as well. There is a lot of information, but it’s quite useful. Please note that “reclassification” means exit from an EAL program.
- H. Gary Cook, Timothy Boals, and Cynthia Lundberg (WIDA) Academic Achievement for English Learners: What Can We Reasonably Expect? Learn about the journey to English proficiency for English Language learners in this 2011 publication.
- Robert Linquanti (WestEd) and H. Gary Cook (WIDA), in a 2014 publication for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) discuss issues and recommendations related to the Stage framework they developed to assist states in analyzing issues and strengthening policies and practices used in defining ELs. Please review Stage 3 and 4 from the framework.
- Stage 3: Reference Performance Level Descriptors: Outcome of a National Working Session on Defining an “English Proficiency” Performance Standard
- Stage 4: EL Reclassification/Exit: Re-examining Reclassification: Guidance from a National Working Session on Policies and Practices for Exiting Students from English Learner Status
We recommend taking part in the WIDA Virtual Institute to learn more about the interpretation and use of WIDA assessment data and integration with WIDA ELD Standards Framework. After the institute, the WIDA Symposium explores this topic further.
In case you missed it...
In February, Fatima compared WIDA International Institutes:
What's the difference between face-to-face institutes and the WIDA Virtual Institute?
In both the face-to-face and online format, the WIDA International Institute is a comprehensive introduction to the WIDA Standards and Assessment System. It is the first step in learning how WIDA resources, including the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, 2020 Edition, work together to support multilingual students and their teachers. Educators can choose to participate in two different formats:
- At an in-person WIDA Institute, attendees have the opportunity to learn about WIDA assessments and instructional tools. Participants can also network with other international teachers and share strategies for serving multilingual learners in international schools.
- The WIDA Virtual Institute is a self-paced and immersive online learning experience that is built around the WIDA All Year Long narrative. This course is estimated to take 15-20 hours, including both on-screen interactions and offline personal reflection and action planning.