English as a Second Language (ESL)
Federal funds awarded under Title III support programs to address English language proficiency and academic achievement of English Learners (ELs), including the provision of language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) and activities that increase the knowledge and skills of teachers who serve ELs. Title III programs also provide enhanced instructional opportunities for immigrant children and youths.
Links with this icon leave the Virginia Department of Education website and visit an external resource.
Standards & Assessment
Adoption of the WIDA ELD Standards
Section 1111(b)(1)(F) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended requires State plans to demonstrate that the State has adopted English language proficiency standards that:
- ‘‘(i) are derived from the 4 recognized domains of speaking, listening, reading, and writing;
- ‘‘(ii) address the different proficiency levels of English learners; and
- ‘‘(iii) are aligned with the challenging State academic standards.
On March 19, 2008, the Board of Education, adopted the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Development (ELD) standards. In 2012, WIDA released the Amplification of the WIDA ELD Standards to support college and career-ready state content-area standards.
Implementing of the WIDA ELD Standards
VDOE offers the following professional development opportunities and technical assistance resources to assist educators in incorporating the ELD standards into lesson planning and classroom instruction:
- Technical Assistance on the VDOE website under the English as a Second Language (ESL) Instruction Web page include but are not limited to:
- WIDA ELD Standards
- WIDA ELD Standards Instructional Videos (Located in the Instruction section of this page)
- Lesson Planning with the ELD Standards (Located in the Instruction section of this page)
Assessing Comprehension & Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLs 2.0)
English language proficiency test developed to meet requirements of ESEA testing and reporting of English proficiency.
Virginia Standards of Learning The standards describe the commonwealth's expectations for student learning and achievement in grades K-12 in English, mathematics, science, history/social science, technology, fine arts, foreign language, health and physical education and driver education.
- Entrance Procedures and Recommended Entrance Criteria for Identifying English Learners – Superintendent’s Memo #194-17, July 30, 2017
- Credit for High School ESL Courses (Word)
- ESL Teacher Endorsement Requirements
- Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs) with Pre-K ESL Endorsement Offering
- TeacherDirect – Stay informed about new instructional resources, professional development and grant opportunities, and other information of interest to teachers and their students.
- Handbook for Educators of Students Who are English Language Learners with Suspected Disabilities (PDF)
- Doing What Works – an online library of resources sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education to help educators implement research-based instructional practices.
- You may also be interested in ESL Teacher Endorsement Requirements.
Also see, Teaching in Virginia
WIDA ELD Standards Instructional Videos
Virginia educators demonstrate activities for teaching the WIDA ELD standards. The Model Performance Indicators (MPIs) selected for these videos, though not comprehensive, represent key language functions repeated throughout the WIDA ELD Standards. These videos link to Flash files which require the Adobe Flash Player plug-in. Download the free player.
- Standard 1
- Standard 2
- Standard 3
- Standard 4
- Standard 5
- Other Videos
Video WIDA ELP Standard Number 1 – Social and Instructional Language
Natalie Fullerton, a middle school ESOL teacher in Fairfax County, demonstrates teaching the "classify" language function through social and instructional language. Social and Instructional Language Handout: Vocabulary (PDF)
VideoWIDA ELP Standard Number 2 – The Language of Language Arts
Eric Blomquist, a middle school ESOL teacher in Fairfax County, demonstrates teaching the "sequencing" function through the language of language arts.
VideoWIDA ELP Standard Number 3 – The Language of Mathematics
Sharon Hoffert, a high school mathematics teacher in Chesterfield County, demonstrates teaching the "create and change" function through the language of mathematics. Mathematics Handout: Graph Translation (PDF)
VideoWIDA ELP Standard Number 4 – The Language of Science
Donna O'Neill, a middle school ESOL teacher in Fairfax County, demonstrates teaching the "record" function through the language of science. Science Handout: Compare Powders (PDF)
VideoWIDA ELP Standard Number 5 – The Language of Social Studies
Robin Liten-Tejada, ESOL/HILT secondary specialist in Arlington County, demonstrates teaching the "compare and contrast" function through the language of social studies. Social Studies Handout: The Three Branches of Government (PDF)
Video February 20, 2013 - Language Instruction Educational Programs (LIEPs): Lessons from the Research and Profiles of Promising Programs
Dr. Sara Waring, English Learner Specialist and Senior Analyst, edCount, LLC
Lesson Planning with the ELD Standards
These webinars were developed and recorded by WIDA in January 2014, in collaboration with VDOE. For additional information, visit WIDA.
WIDA Resources Webinar
The following two-part webinar provides an overview of the resources available on the WIDA website:
Part 1 – Virginia specific information and the newly designed English Language Development Standards module
Part 2 – Additional resources
WIDA Online Learning Module
Objective: Educators will be able to build their awareness of English learners, explore the WIDA ELD Standards Framework, and take action in their classroom.
Audience: This module engages educators with a beginning level of awareness of WIDA and/or English language development including:
- Individual educators working with English learners;
- Educators working with English learners as a team at the school or division level; and
- Coaches or division level professional development facilitators creating blended learning or dialogue around educating English learners.
- Topic 1: Building Awareness of Your ELLs
- Topic 2: Use of Language for Academic Purposes
- Topic 3: Integrating Content and Language
- Topic 1: Can Do Philosophy
- Topic 2: Sociocultural Context for Language Use
- Topic 3: Language Expectations and Support
- Topic 4: Features of Academic Language
- Topic 5: The Student Portrait
Educators may proceed through the modules independently or join up with colleagues to enhance the experience. WIDA encourages local educators, coaches, administrators, or professional learning facilitators to develop collaborative activities to enhance and reinforce the ideas and practices presented in the module.
Access: Modules are available free to Consortium members via the WIDA secure website login. Once logged in, go to Professional Learning > Online Professional Learning > Online Professional Learning > Foundational Concepts.