English Language Development Standards

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) adopted the World-class Instructional Design and Assessment English Language Development (WIDA ELD) standards in 2011. WIDA is a multistate consortium focused on academic language development and academic achievement for linguistically diverse students through high-quality standards, assessments, research, and professional development for educators.

The WIDA ELD standards promote academic language proficiency in four content areas: language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, to facilitate students' success in school. WIDA provides a host of tools and resources educators can use to differentiate instruction for English Learners (ELs) and promote their academic language development.

2020 edition of the K-12 English Language Development Standards Framework is now available!

For an overview of the WIDA ELD Standards, information on the Q&A webinar series, and additional resources, please visit the WIDA 2020 Edition of the English Language Development (ELD) Standards framework. MDE is committed to supporting effective implementation of the WIDA ELD Standards.

Highlights of the 2020 Edition of the K-12 ELD Standards Framework

  • Four Big Ideas anchor the standards and are interwoven throughout the document
    1. Equity of opportunity and access
    2. Integration of content and language
    3. Collaboration among stakeholders
    4. Functional approach to language development
  • A robust standards framework supports equity and provides a coherent approach to language development
  • Grade-level cluster materials represent the WIDA ELD Standards Framework in action
  • A sample collaborative planning process for content-language integration offers a jump-off point for curricular conversations
  • Six grade-level clusters (K, 1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, 9-12) and six proficiency levels correspond with those of ACCESS for ELLs Online

Rollout and Implementation of the 2020 Edition of the K-12 ELD Standards Framework in Minnesota

2020-21: Schools and districts engage in professional development efforts to build awareness at school & district levels. Consider ways to align and coordinate your ELD standards implementation work with the implementation of other Minnesota standards, including physical education, arts, science and language arts.

MDE staff will be working with Minnesota educators to update the English Language Development Standards Implementation Guide, which Provides guidance and support to educators implementing the WIDA ELD Standards.

2021-22: Planning, preparation, continued professional development and initial implementation. Consider ways to align and coordinate K-12 ELD standards implementation work with the implementation of other Minnesota standards, including physical education, arts, science and language arts.

2022-23: Approaching full implementation by ELD teachers with efforts to inform integrated language and content instruction across the school-day and alignment with other Minnesota content standards.

2023-24: Ongoing implementation efforts-coincides with implementation of the Minnesota science standards (leverage opportunities for collaboration in standards implementation efforts) and the Minnesota Language Arts standards.

2024-25: Ongoing implementation efforts-coincides with implementation of the Minnesota science standards (leverage opportunities for collaboration in standards implementation efforts) and the Minnesota Language Arts standards.