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Supporting Florida ELLs with WIDA-Correlated Programs

Supporting Florida ELLs with WIDA-Correlated Programs

Florida’s English language learners (ELLs) total over 265,000 students, representing 10.2 percent of the state’s entire student population. Ranked third in the nation for the diversity of its ELLs, Florida’s ELL population surpasses most states in the country with more than 300 different languages being spoken.

Increasing the need to adequately serve this population of students, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) accountability expectations require all states to set goals for ELL progress toward English-language proficiency (ELP), which then feeds directly into how Florida is defining support for this subgroup of learners today.

How does Florida measure English language learner success?

On September 26, Florida became the last of the 50 states to attain ESSA plan approval—much of the reason being because of how ELL progress toward proficiency was measured. For months, Florida stuck to its original plan of reporting proficiency for its lowest performing 25 percent of students (no matter their race, income, or disability status), rather than looking at English language learners separately. ESSA stipulations, however, require that subgroup performance is specifically reported. As a result, Florida’s approved plan now incorporates this requirement, weighting ELP progress at 100 points for all grade bands, approximately 10 percent of its overall scoring system.

Progress in Achieving English Language Proficiency is calculated as the percentage of ELLs who increase their composite proficiency level on the WIDA™ Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLs® or the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0® (which is new to Florida) assessment to the next highest whole number. Students who remain at a composite score of 4, 5, or 6 are also counted as making progress.

For 2016–17, 60 percent of ELLs made progress toward achieving English-language proficiency as measured by this metric. Florida’s goal is to increase ELL progress toward achieving English-language proficiency by six percentage points by 2019–20. This would require a two-percentage-point increase each year for the next three years.

ELLs enrolled in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program have a variable timeline to achieve proficiency. If students achieve success in year one, they are immediately exited from the program. Conversely, students who require services for longer than three years must have an evaluation by the ELL committee to determine progress annually. Florida’s timeline for students to achieve ELP is five or fewer years, with a score at level 4 or above on their ELP assessment.

What should you expect from a trusted ELL partner?

This increasing population of diverse learners in Florida only continues to highlight the growing need for quality educational materials that target English-language proficiency and continuous academic growth. Before students take the 2019 Kindergarten ACCESS for ELLS or ACCESS for ELLS 2.0 exam, starting on January 28, ensure that you have an education partner who offers high-quality programs to drive your students toward desired outcomes.

At Edmentum, we value our continued partnership with WIDA to help validate the quality of our programs and their ability to adequately fulfill the unique needs of your ELLs. As one of its key initiatives, the WIDA Consortium developed the Protocol for Review of Instructional Materials™ for ELLs (PRIME) as a tool to assist educators in making informed decisions about selecting instructional materials for language-education programs.

Edmentum Exact Path, ESL ReadingSmart, and Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress have all been awarded a WIDA PRIME V2™ Correlation, following rigorous, independent reviews. Attaining WIDA PRIME V2 Correlations demonstrates our programs’ abilities to support the reading, writing, speaking, and listening needs of ELLs. Take a look at each of our aligned programs to discover how our solutions can help you confidently propel learning forward for your diverse ELL population.

Exact Path: Academic growth for K–8th grade ELLs

Edmentum’s individualized learning solution, Exact Path, supports the diverse needs of your ELLs through a flexible approach to learning. Proven to drive growth for ELLs, Exact Path is designed to develop students’ vocabulary and language skills and is supported with audio, models, and visual supports to help differentiate content for all targeted proficiency levels.

After completing an adaptive diagnostic assessment, each student is set on an individualized learning path to academic growth, which includes scaffolded instruction and practice aligned to Florida standards. As an educator, the diagnostic assessment allows you to determine the exact areas where a student needs remediation, as well as where a student may be working ahead of grade level. While Exact Path provides you with big-picture and skill-by-skill data views to support real-time progress monitoring for your students, the program’s user-friendly interface and engaging activities allow students to navigate their learning paths independently and build critical language skills.

ESL ReadingSmart: English-language proficiency for 4th grade through adult ELLs

ESL ReadingSmart is focused entirely on English-language proficiency, offering quality content for newcomer, beginner, intermediate, early advanced, and advanced ELLs. After an initial placement test, students are directed to individual lesson paths featuring meaningful curriculum selected to help accelerate learning. Each lesson contains activities, vocabulary, and reading selections to help students build academic vocabulary and to support English-language proficiency.

By providing students with individualized learning experiences tailored to their abilities, ESL ReadingSmart gives educators the flexibility to utilize the program as a student-centered, standalone application for independent language acquisition; leverage the program in a larger whole-class, blended-learning model; or integrate it for intervention or acceleration in after-school programs.

Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress: Literacy development for Pre-K–6th grade ELLs

Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress, Edmentum’s dynamic two-in-one literacy solution, supports the reading and comprehension development of your ELLs with engaging activities and lessons aligned to the five essential pillars of reading—phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Content begins at an absolute emergent level and ensures that students receive extra support in phonemic awareness and phonics to close gaps in foundational reading skills before they ever have a chance to widen. Additionally, both Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress offer a placement test to help your students begin their learning journeys at the correct level of instruction.

Once students have been placed at the appropriate level, carefully guided lessons supported with instructional modeling, audio supports, and engaging animations guide students’ literacy development as they become more confident readers. Every corner of Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress is packed with rewarding and game-like features that keep students motivated and encouraged as they work through their lessons. As your ELLs crack the code on reading, they not only unlock the joys of becoming life-long readers, but they also open the door to all the academic gains that come with reading proficiency.

Interested in learning more about how WIDA and Edmentum partner to help drive your ELLs to academic success and English-language proficiency? Watch our recent webinar, [WIDA + Edmentum] Partnering to Drive ELL Success.

madison.michell's picture
Madison Michell

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.