The national World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) standards for English language learner (ELL) children, have been adopted by the Colorado State Board of Education as the Colorado English Language Proficiency (CELP) standards for preschool through grade 12. These standards address students’ ability to read, write, speak, and listen when English is not their first language. They differ somewhat from the other Colorado Academic Standards because they function as a framework for supporting student learning across content areas. As ELL children study science, social studies, and other subjects, how they learn (e.g., reading, listening) and their ability to communicate their learning (e.g., speaking, writing) depends upon the level of their language competence. The CELP standards define these levels and help teachers understand how children access grade-level academic content while learning English.
The CELP standards include Model Performance Indicators for five levels of English acquisition. These Indicators serve as examples of how ELL children with varying levels of English proficiency might receive and communicate their learning in a variety of content areas. The Guidelines for children ages 3–5 years address learning for ELL children in the domain of English Language Development. This domain includes three subdomains: Receptive English Language Skills, which correlate to the Reading and Listening components of the CELP standards; Expressive English Skills, which correlate to the Writing and Speaking domains of the CELP standards; and Engagement in English Literacy Activities, which are expressed within the example indicators for various content areas in the CELP standards. Elements within the CELP standards concerning children’s ability to communicate for social and instructional purposes also relate to preschool skills articulated in the Social Relationships subdomain within the Guideline’s Social and Emotional Development domain for children ages 3–5 years.