Voices Vol 41 No 4

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS: ESL Secondary

A Model Framework for Developing Curriculum

By Caia Schlessinger

During our ESL Secondary Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting at the spring conference, many of you inquired about a model curriculum for ESL programs. The framework being created by the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is a work in progress, so I would like to provide you with an update.

The NJDOE has developed a model framework for developing curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It can be found by following this link: http://www.state.nj.us/education/modelcurriculum/

When you click on English Language Arts (ELA) or Math you will find Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) based on the CCSS designed by grade level and grouped into Units. These were developed by cohorts of general education teachers.

A group of ESL teachers has since met and, beginning with the SLO in ELA, developed language targets for ELLs. By following the WIDA framework, they identified the performance criteria (WIDA) and created performance indicators by proficiency levels. It is a work in progress. It is anticipated that Unit 1 for 1st grade and 9th grade will be available by the end of September. This may serve as a framework for those of you who are working on a curriculum. As a framework, you will be able to layer these performance indicators into a thematic unit and adjust with your materials and resources and connect to your local curriculum. You may want to inform your districts of this initiative and let them know that you may be revising the curriculum as more information becomes available.  PowerPoint presentations from the workshops are posted on the DOE Bilingual Education website under ‘all news’: http://www.state.nj.us/education/bilingual/

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.

Caia Schlessinger is the NJTESOL/NJBE Secondary ESL Representative. She teaches ESL at Colt Neck High School for the Freehold Regional High School District. She may be reached at cschlessinger@njtesol-njbe.org