CAN DO Descriptors for the Levels of English Language Proficiency

The CAN DO Descriptors below offer teachers working with English language learners a range of expectations for student performance within a designated English language proficiency level of the WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards.

These guidelines provide broad descriptors of language skills focusing on language functions generally found in the school setting, rather then language skills related to specific academic topics. The descriptors simply outline performance tasks students can perform at a proficiency level with one of the four language domains:Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

The descriptors are not instructional or assessment strategies, but instead they are samples of what English language learners may do to demonstrate comprehension in listening and reading as well as production in speaking and writing within a school setting.

LANGUAGE DOMAINS


For the given level of English language proficiency level, English language learners can:

 LISTENING

Level 1 Entering


  • Point to stated pictures, words, phrases
  • Follow one-step oral directions
  • Match oral statements to objects, figures, or illustrations


Level 2 Beginning

 

  • Sort pictures, objects according to oral instructions
  • Follow two-step oral directions
  • Match information from oral descriptions to objects, illustrations


Level 3 Developing

 

  • Locate, select, order information from oral descriptions
  • Follow multi-step oral directions
  • Categorize or sequence oral information using pictures, objects


Level 4 Expanding

 

  • Compare and contrast functions, relationships from oral information
  • Analyze and apply oral information
  • Identify cause and effect from oral discourse


Level 5 Bridging

 

  • Draw conclusions from oral information
  • Construct models based on oral discourse
  • Make connections from oral discourse


Level 6 Reaching

 

  • Functions in English at Grade Level
 

 

For the given level of English language proficiency level, English language learners can:

 SPEAKING

Level 1 Entering

 

  • Name objects, people, pictures
  • Answer wh- questions (who, what, when) or choice questions

 

Level 2 Beginning

 

  • Ask wh- or choice questions
  • Describe pictures, events, objects, people
  • Restate facts or statements


Level 3 Developing

 

  • Formulate hypotheses, make predictions
  • Describe processes, procedures
  • Retell stories or events

 

Level 4 Expanding

 

  • Discuss stories, issues, concepts
  • Give speeches, oral reports
  • Offer creative solutions to issues, problems


Level 5 Bridging

 

  • Engage in debates
  • Explain situations, give examples, justify responses
  • Express and defend points of view


Level 6 Reaching

 

  • Functions in English at Grade Level
 

 

For the given level of English language proficiency level, English language learners can:

READING

Level 1 Entering


  • Match letters and symbols to words, phrases, or environmental print
  • Identify concepts about print and text features


Level 2 Beginning
  • Locate and classify information
  • Identify facts and explicit messages
  • Select language patterns associated with facts


Level 3 Developing

 

  • Sequence pictures, events, processes
  • Identify main ideas
  • Use context clues to determine meaning of words


Level 4 Expanding

 

  • Interpret information or data
  • Find details that support main ideas
  • Identify word families, figures of speech


Level 5 Bridging

 

  • Conduct research to glean information from multiple sources
  • Draw conclusions or infer from explicit and implicit text


Level 6 Reaching


  • Functions in English at Grade Level


 

For the given level of English language proficiency level, English language learners can:

 WRITING 

Level 1 Entering

 

  • Label objects, pictures, diagrams
  • Draw in response to oral directions
  • Produce letters, symbols, words, phrases to convey messages


Level 2 Beginning

 

  • Make lists
  • Produce drawings, phrases, sort sentences, notes
  • Give information requested from oral or written directions


Level 3 Developing

 

  • Produce bare-bones expository or narrative texts
  • Compare and contrast information
  • Describe events, people, processes, procedures

    

Level 4 Expanding

 

  • Summarize information from graphics or notes
  • Edit and revise writing
  • Create original ideas or detailed responses


Level 5 Bridging

 

  • Apply information to new contexts
  • React to multiple genres and discourses
  • Author multiple forms of writing


Level 6 Reaching


  • Functions in English at Grade Level


 

Language Performance Definitions

Level 6 Reaching
  • Specialized or technical language reflective of the content areas at grade level
  • A variety of sentence lengths of varying linguistic complexity in extended oral or written discourse as required by the specified grade level
  • Oral or written communication in English comparable to proficient English peers
Level 5 Bridging
  • Specialized or technical language of content areas
  • A variety of sentence lengths of varying linguistic complexity in extended oral or written discourse, including stories ,essays, or reports
  • Oral or written language approaching comparability to that of proficient English peers when presented with grade level material
Level 4 Expanding
  • Specific and some technical language of content areas
  • A variety sentence lengths of varying linguistic complexity in oral discourse or multiple, related sentences or paragraphs
  • Oral or written language with minimal phonological, syntactic, or semantic errors that do not impede the overall meaning of the communication when presented with oral or written connected discourse with visual, graphic, or interactive support
Level 3 Development
  • General and some specific language of the content areas
  • Expanded sentences in oral interaction or written paragraphs
  • Oral or written language with phonological, syntactic, or semantic errors that may impede the communication, but retain much of its meaning, when presented with oral or written, narrative or expository descriptions with visual, graphic, or interactive support
Level 2 Beginning
  • General language related to the content areas
  • Phrases or short sentences
  • Oral or written language with phonological, syntactic, or semantic errors that often impede the meaning of the communication when presented with one to multi-step commands, directions, questions, or a series of statements with visual, graphic, or interactive support
Level 1 Entering
  • Pictorial or graphic representation of the language of the content areas
  • Word or chunks of language when presented with one-step commands, directions, WH-or choice questions, or statement with visual, graphic, or interactive support

Copyright 2007 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System on behalf of the WIDA Consortium

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