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Table of Contents

The CA ELD Standards and the CA CCSS in Practice: Grade 8

Now that you have had an opportunity to look at the alignment between the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy and the CA ELD Standards at your grade, you will be able to view these standards in practice in a middle school science classroom.

Take a moment to look at the CA ELD Standards for grade 8. Like the standards at your grade level there is an overview page in Section 1, Part I that highlights the ways in which students use language to interact: Collaborative, Interpretive, and Productive.

The CA ELD Level Continuum

The new CA ELD Standards look very different from the previous set of state ELD Standards. To gain a deeper understanding, read Section 2 of the grade 8 CA ELD Standards. Notice the CA ELD Level Continuum has shifted to just three levels.

Time to Apply

To better understand the three proficiency levels for English learners, compare and contrast the descriptors for:

Strand 1:“Exchanging information/ideas” across the three proficiency levels in grade 8. Describe the differences in the levels. What specific language elements such as syntax and vocabulary would a proficient student need to use to demonstrate comprehension and command of the science content presented?


Sample response

The grade 8 classroom you are about to see in the video is composed primarily of non-native English speakers (85%) who have been enrolled in US schools since Kindergarten when they entered the school system with beginning levels of English proficiency.

  • Now in an eighth grade classroom, 40% of the students are still at an intermediate level of fluency which means they are able to converse easily with social language but still struggle with complex language structures and academic or technical language.
  • Thirty percent of the students have an early advanced level of proficiency and are able to engage in complex and cognitively demanding tasks yet still require light linguistic supports.
  • And 30% of the classroom is made up of students formerly classified as English learners re-designated as proficient in the last three years (15%) and native English speakers (15%).

Read the teacher’s standards-based learning goals for this lesson covering standards from science content (1 and 2), CCSS literacy (3), and ELD (4):

Students will:

  1. Become familiar with the organization of the periodic table by manipulating images of simple figures.
  2.  Understand that the periodic table is both a tool and an organized arrangement of the elements that reveals the underlying electron structure of each element.
  3. Use speaking and listening standards (SL8.1, SL8.4) from the CA CCSS for ELA/Literacy as a precursor to the writing standard WHST8.1.
  4. Exchange information and ideas through conversations and collaboration (CA ELD Standards for grade 8, Part I, A. Collaborative, 1 and 3).