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In Education, What is ELD?

Vocabulary cards for learning English.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2014
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In education, English Language Development (ELD) refers to improving the English skills of students, especially those who are learning English as a second language. A strong ELD program will empower students, helping them to communicate in English more effectively in both written and oral forms, as well as improving their comprehension and listening abilities. Improving a student's English will make him or her a much more powerful academic, and will also help the student succeed in English speaking nations, in which English skills are expected for most well paying jobs and in many social situations.

Instructors who work with English Language Learners (ELLs) implement an ELD program for their students, commonly working with other teachers and experts to structure a strong curriculum. In classrooms with students at mixed levels of English ability, a common situation, an ELD curriculum must support the ELLs while also helping other students, and this can be a difficult balance to strike. Teachers who work extensively with minorities may receive special training to help them teach their students most effectively. Most school districts set ELD goals which clearly outline the skills that they expect students to have as they move through school, to ensure that students will be able to keep up and receive a high quality education.

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A strong ELD curriculum integrates a number of subjects, and starts at a very young age. The classroom needs to be organized effectively to help students learn, and teachers keep learning material varied and interesting so that students are interested in learning more. Often, an ELD program is structured in units, which help students to learn blocks of material and then put their new English skills to use. ELD students learn English through a variety of other subjects, and a good ELD program will also impart some learnings in math, science, and history in addition to teaching English. While ELD is most intensive in elementary school, to help students develop the building blocks of successful communication, educational institutions through college offer ELD programs to assist students. In addition, some communities offer ELD programs for adults who are not attending school.

When working with older ELLs, an ELD program often encourages peer assistance. At a college student help center, for example, more advanced ELLs help less advanced students to grasp major concepts. ELD is also not restricted to speakers who are acquiring a new language: many native English speakers benefit from ELD programs as well. Native English speakers who have low literacy levels participate in programs designed to improve their English reading, and by extension their ability to write, speak, and comprehend material in English.

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anon113974
Post 5

1). If low language/academic EO students are mixed with EL's 1 and 2 is it still ELD?

2). How does CELDT testing/results fit in, especially if EO's are not CELDT tested.

Can anyone please clarify this for me?

anon61846
Post 4

I've always felt that language development in terms of some types of vocabulary work is tightly linked to logical thinking. For instance, analogies, antonyms, synonyms, and near synonyms require a combination of analytical and ELD skills.

anon58861
Post 3

The structures and patterns of English can be easily taught through science and social studies, as delineated in both the SIOP and Project GLAD models of ELD.

When teaching about science, for example, teachers can teach the language function compare/contrast, including functional vocabulary and sentence structures associated with compare/contrast. Or teachers might teach comparative and superlative adjectives associated with compare/contrast (i.e. -er, -est).

Each school district establishes whether ELD will be in a separate block or whether it will be in the form of content-based ELD (i.e., science/social studies). It is important to note that content-based ELD must have language and literacy ELD objectives that are integrated with content objectives. If your primary focus during science and social studies time is not language structures and patterns (as mentioned in the compare/contrast paragraph) then it does not count as ELD.

anon30100
Post 2

ELD is the study of the structures and patterns of English for students learning English as a second language. A good ELD program has its own curriculum and content standards that focus on English structures and patterns and has nothing to do with math, science, history, etc. Certainly students will be more proficient in these other subject areas, but they are distinct from ELD instruction.

Teachers need to teach 30-40 minutes of explicit English Language Development that focuses on the English language.

Bonnie Bishop

teacheld
Post 1

One really great ELD training is the Project GLAD instructional model of ELD. It teaches teachers how to teach ELD through Science and/or Social Studies units.

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