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Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment


Massachusetts English Proficiency Assessment - Reading and Writing


Massachusetts English Language Assessment- Oral


Limited English Proficiency


Former Limited English Proficiency, transitioned out of ESL program but can still be monitored by ESL staff


Sheltered English Instruction, what any teacher with an ELL student should be doing


English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes


Basic interpersonal communication skills, face-to-face conversational fluency including vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar, typically takes 2 years to develop


Cognitive academic language proficiency, language associated with school-based instruction, abstract and conceptual, typically takes 5-7 years to develop

communicative competence

combination of grammatical, discourse, etc. competency that allows the recognition and production of fluent and appropriate language in all settings involved interpersonal communication


the structure of words, smallest units of meaning, prefixes, suffixes, etc., how words are created in a language


the study of sounds in a language, the basic units of sound in a language


the rules for the use of language in social context and in conversation or the study of these rules


the act of communicating through speech or written text, MELA-O tests fluency, vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar (Carlos Fell in love with a Very Pretty Girl)


the study of meaning conveyed by symbols, words, phrases, and sentences


grammar, the rules for combining words in a sentences in order to produce meaning


English language development


second language acquisition

additive bilingualism

adding an L2 to one's language repertoire with no loss or deterioration of L1

affective filter

This is an imaginary screen (filter) that blocks the input if it is "up" and allows the input to get in if it is "down." The lower the anxiety level, the lower the filter. Keep the anxiety level low--remember, comfort is key in second language learning! Lower the filter by lowering the anxiety, raising the self-esteem, and motivating the student to learn. Too much anxiety can impede language acquisition. Stephen Krashen says keep it low by focusing on communication (meaning and content) rather than language form and grammatical accuracy.

balanced bilingual

a person who can communicate effectively and equally in two languages

bilingual education

method of ed with continued L1 instruction, english L2 instruction, and subject matter instruction in L1 and L2

code switching

alternating between languages (and cultures)

communicative-based ESL

A second language instructional approach in which the goals, teaching methods and techniques, and assessments of student progress are all based on instructional objectives defines in terms of abilities to communicate messages in the target language. In communicative-based ESL the focus is on language function and use and not on language form

comprehensible input

language that is comprehensible to the listener, listener may need concrete referents to achieve this

content-based ESL

ESL taught in combination with academic subject matter


language that is supplemented by contextual clues or visual stimuli that assist comprehension


language that is not supplemented by contextual clues or visual stimuli

developmental bilingual program

a program in which students are taught both English and their L1 in order to foster continued development in the L1 and in L2

language experience approach

student-generated stories about real-life experiences

maintenance bilingual program

a program that maintains native language skills while teaching English

natural approach

a topic-centered language program designed to develop communication skills in accord with the way children naturally acquire language

developmental stages of language acquisition

preproduction, early production, speech emergence, and intermediate fluency

Question 2

a ballot initiative voted on in Nov. 2002 which required changing education practices for ELLs in MA form transitional bilingual education to SEI


transitional bilingual education, a program that provides content area instruction in the child's L1 while simultaneously providing ESL instruction , instruction gradually shifts to L2 as the student progresses


total physical response, using multi-modalities to teach a language


the study of word meanings

subtractive bilingualism

loss or limited development of one's L1 when learning an L2


the study of sentence structures and word-order patterns, grammar rules


speech that is socially appropriate for a given situation

learning disability, not ELL

language patterns are unique to student, limited vocab even when rich opps are provided, deficits in expressive and receptive language which impede communication, difficulty with non-verbal language = behavior issues

4 Principles of SEI

1. increase comprehensibility, 2, increase personal connections, 3. increase higher-order thinking, 4. increase interactions

structural linguistics & behavioral psych

only base study on observables, children learn language through imitation and reinforcement, no shared principles, language can be broken into units that can be studied (Skinner, Sapir, Bloomfield)

Generative Linguistics & Cognitive Psych

meaning, understanding and knowing (mentalism) should be studied not just observables, explaining and not just describing human behavior (Chomsky)


linguistic, psych. and social approach, social interaction and discovery/construction of meaning (Piaget, Vygotsky)


"learning is a developmental process", stages of development of independent, social interactions only trigger development, not facilitate it


"children's thinking and meaning making is socially constructed", adults are necessary to take them to the next level, zone of proximal development

zone of proximal development

distance between learner's current and potential state of development, learner has not yet gotten to the next state but can do so with appropriate stimuli


one's underlying knowledge of a system (non-obs, ability)


observable manifestation of competence (the actual doing)


the study of how language serves and is shaped by the social nature of human beings, analyzes the many and diverse ways in which language and society entwine, combines insights from linguistics, sociology, psychology and anthropology

William Labov

studied Ebonics and found that it has its own complex internal structure, has studied changes in the phonology of English as spoken in the United States today, sociolinguist

Joshua Fishman

"Language is linked to ethnicity, religion, and nationalism. As such language within its history and belief systems works towards preserving languages as a link to history and ethnicity. Language is representational of a history and culture. If the language dies, so does the culture."

Dell Hymes

sociolinguist who objected to the marginalization of performance from the center of linguistic inquiry and proposed the notion of communicative competence, or knowledge necessary to use language in social context, meaning and function of language, more focused on speaking and dialogue than grammar and syntax, developed the SPEAKING model

Basil Bernsetin

sociolinguist, theory of language code, the language people use in everyday conversation both reflects and shapes the assumptions of a certain social group, relationships established within the social group affect the way that group uses language and the type of speech that is used

Critical Period Hypothesis

the lateralization of the brain occurs and language functions are assigned to specific parts of the brain from ages 2 to puberty, according to Eric Lenneberg it is harder to learn a language after lateralization

Preproduction Stage

Stage at which a learner can understand more than he/she can convey, silent period, instructor should not force child to speak, can respond nonverbally (pointing, etc.)

Early Production Stage

Learner can understand more than he can produce, can produce one or two words at a time, will pick up phrases, choice and yes/no questions

Speech Emergence Stage

Speaks in phrases, Makes lots of errors, Interlanguage occurs (a mixture of vocabulary and structures from both languages), "What is this?" and fill-in-the blank ?s

Intermediate Fluency Stage

Appear orally fluent, Errors are same errors native speakers make, Struggle with content area reading and writing, capable of HOT with assistance

Lambert & Tucker

studied french immersion programs in Canada,

Russell Gersten

found SEI was better than bilingual programs, all English-direct instruction program, can be adjusted to the learner (ELL and at-risk), proponent of early-exit (2-3 years)

Keith Baker & Christine Rossell

believes SEI programs are better than bilingual programs, coined term "Structured Immersion" (SEI), suggested CA use them after studying french immersion model

cognitive academic language learning approach (CALLA)

COGNITIVE LEARNING MODEL: Learning is mentally active, based on prior knowledge.
CURRICULUM CONTENT: Content topics aligned with National and State Standards.
ACADEMIC LANGUAGE: Integrated language development across the curriculum.
LEARNING STRATEGIES: Metacognitive awareness, explicit instruction, scaffolding


In 1991, ________ and his colleagues conducted a voluminous study of ELL instructional programs and found that SEI programs shared two basic components: (1) teachers maximize instruction in English and (2) teachers use and teach English at a level appropriate to the abilities of the ELLs in the class


This person theorized about the Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, Researcher who has claimed that many young learners who use English as their L2 have been misdiagnosed as having language delays or disorders

Woodcock-Munoz (Language Survey or WMLS)

Establishes the language proficiency level in Spanish and English; measures CALP; assesses level of English Language Proficiency

Aural Comprehension

the gradual improvement of the student's ability to understand a language through its spoken form

DESE defines students of limited English Education as students...

"whose first language is a language other than English and who is unable to perform ordinary classroom work in English".

How many LEP students are in MA schools?

57,002 limited English proficient (LEP) students

How many primary languages are spoken in MA schools?

112 different primary languages

Largest primary language group in Mass?

Spanish 54%

Lau vs. Nichols

Supreme Court case where the Court ruled that, "There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students the same facilities, textbooks, teachers and curriculum, for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education".

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