myTESOL Lounge

  • 1.  ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 15-12-2016 09:02 AM


    I am currently evaluating the process by which we transition ESL students (at the secondary level grades 9-12).  I was wondering what other schools, public schools included, do to establish when a student is ready to transition. Are there any specific metrics or measurable benchmarks a student must reach in your schools?  We use an IPT test to determine the need for ESL, but I would like to have something I could point to in order to say "this student is ready to transition" or something to point to and say, "See, you're not yet ready to leave ESL."  

    I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.  

    Joseph Gardner
    Director ESL Charlotte Country Day School
    Charlotte Country Day School

  • 2.  RE: ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 16-12-2016 10:17 AM

    Hi, Joseph,

    Below is a link to rule for assessing and transitioning ELLs in Florida. Possibly, your state has a similar rule; I believe it is related to the NCLB Act, as amended. The states don't necessarily get it right, so view the rules with a healthy amount of skepticism. The TESOL web site might have some guidance on when a student is ready to transition, as might National Council of Teachers of English. Hope this helps!


    Dayna Foster
    Adjunct Instructor
    Indian River State College
    Okeechobee, FL

  • 3.  RE: ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 19-12-2016 10:12 AM

    Hi Joseph,

    Does your school/state use the WIDA standards for ELLs? I'm in Hawaii, and we are part of the WIDA consortium. We use benchmarks based on the WIDA ACCESS test to determine whether a student is deemed "ready" to leave the ELL nest and go mainstream. I believe it is the state that set the benchmark the students need to achieve. However, I also have a bit of wiggle room, in that at my school if a student is really close to "exiting," and has demonstrated good student work habits, I can push to get that student into mainstream classes earlier. We also monitor our students once they've left, so if they aren't performing well in the mainstream environment, we can bring them back into the ELL program for an extra semester or so.

    Hope this helps....

    Jana Moore, Ph.D.
    ELL Coordinator
    Moanalua High School

  • 4.  RE: ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 29-12-2016 04:08 PM

    Maryland also uses the WIDA ACCESS test to gauge EL's level of language proficiency and the readiness to exit ESOL. Here is a map of all of the WIDA states: WIDA: Member States

    Wida remove preview
    WIDA: Member States
    View this on Wida >

    Briefly, on the scale of 1-6, Maryland exits ELs once they reach an overall of 5.0 and 4.0 in literacy but continue monitoring for two years after exiting. You can find more information on their website. Bear in mind that states have set their exit criteria at different levels, and that this is just one snapshot of a student's language proficiency. Is it enough, well, that's debatable!

    Satu Muja
    ESOL Teacher
    Charles County Public Schools

  • 5.  RE: ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 30-12-2016 03:02 AM

    Hi people,

    My name is Mackenzy Julemisse, I am Haitian.

    It's good to be able to become a member of this group and share words with you guys.

    I am now in Brazil, trying to animate ESL groups with the objective to lead them to acquire the ability identify their strengths and weaknesses, to distinguish knowledge and learning.

    I need your every help and suggestions because you are my predecessors, as a young leader in this field, I would like to be helped in order to become helpful to my people, because your experience can bridge me to touch my learners expectations and help them to be able to go beyond of their limits.

    Looking forward to hearing from you and being able to be guided.


    Mackenzy Julemisse

    Mackenzy Julemisse

  • 6.  RE: ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 03-01-2017 08:10 AM

    Hi Mackenzie, 

    How are you?

    I just read your email and I'm confused what kind help you're looking for. Would you please give more details? Is it engagement? Materials? Teaching approach? Activity? 

    Also, as a native Brazilian, in what part of the country are you? Different regions, different approaches to learning. 


    Rejane McCorkel
    Alexandria City Public Schools

  • 7.  RE: ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 04-01-2017 07:59 AM

    Thank you all for the input.  I have been reviewing the WIDA system, and plan to incorporate it into my evaluation process.  I appreciate your time. 

    Joseph Gardner
    Director ESL Charlotte Country Day School
    Charlotte Country Day School

  • 8.  RE: ESL Benchmarks

    Posted 12-01-2017 10:24 AM
    Hello Young Man!

    i have been in the business a long time.

    What specifically are you looking for? Classroom activities?

    Ken Gilfillan

    Ken Gilfillan
    Rowan University