55 Eld Standards California Cheat Sheet

CA ELD STANDARDS INTRODUCTION VIDEO For My Classroom Pinterest Teaching resources
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Understanding the California English Language Development (ELD) standards can be a daunting task for educators and parents alike. With its complex terminology and detailed guidelines, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive cheat sheet that breaks down the key concepts and components of the ELD standards in a clear and concise manner. Whether you're a teacher looking to align your curriculum or a parent wanting to support your child's language development, this cheat sheet will serve as your go-to resource.

What are the ELD Standards?

The ELD standards are a set of guidelines developed by the California Department of Education to support English learners in acquiring proficiency in English. These standards outline the knowledge and skills that English learners need to develop in order to become successful communicators, both orally and in writing. The ELD standards are aligned with the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, ensuring a comprehensive approach to language development.

Key Components of the ELD Standards

Proficiency Levels

The ELD standards are organized into four proficiency levels, which reflect the progression of English language development. These levels are:

1. Beginning

This level is characterized by limited English proficiency. Students at this level have minimal vocabulary and struggle to understand and produce basic English phrases and sentences.

2. Early Intermediate

At this level, students demonstrate an expanding vocabulary and are able to understand and produce more complex sentences. They begin to develop basic reading and writing skills.

3. Intermediate

Students at the intermediate level have a good command of English and are able to understand and produce more complex texts. They demonstrate improved reading and writing skills.

4. Advanced

Students at the advanced level have near-native proficiency in English. They are able to understand and produce complex texts, both orally and in writing, and can effectively communicate in academic settings.

Standards Strands

The ELD standards are further divided into five strands, each addressing a specific aspect of language development. These strands are:

1. Listening and Speaking

This strand focuses on developing students' ability to understand and communicate orally. It includes skills such as listening for information, participating in conversations, and delivering presentations.

2. Reading

The reading strand emphasizes the development of students' reading comprehension skills. It includes skills such as decoding, fluency, and comprehension of different types of texts.

3. Writing

The writing strand focuses on developing students' ability to express themselves effectively in writing. It includes skills such as organizing ideas, using appropriate language conventions, and producing different types of texts.

4. Written and Oral English Language Conventions

This strand addresses the rules and conventions of the English language, both in written and oral form. It includes skills such as grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure.

5. Foundational Skills

The foundational skills strand focuses on the building blocks of language development, including phonics, phonological awareness, and word recognition. It provides students with the necessary tools to become proficient readers and writers.

Performance Level Descriptors

In addition to proficiency levels and strands, the ELD standards provide performance level descriptors for each grade level. These descriptors describe the expected level of performance for English learners at each grade level, helping educators assess their students' progress and determine appropriate instructional strategies.

How to Use the Cheat Sheet

Now that we've covered the key components of the ELD standards, let's explore how to use this cheat sheet effectively:

1. Identify the proficiency level of your students

Determine the proficiency level of your English learners using the descriptors provided in the ELD standards. This will help you tailor your instruction to meet their specific needs.

2. Focus on the relevant strands

Identify the strands that are most relevant to your students' language development goals. This will allow you to prioritize your instruction and provide targeted support in those areas.

3. Refer to the performance level descriptors

Use the performance level descriptors to assess your students' progress and set realistic goals for their language development. This will help you track their growth over time and make informed instructional decisions.

4. Align your curriculum

Ensure that your curriculum aligns with the ELD standards by incorporating the relevant strands and performance level descriptors into your lesson plans. This will help you provide a comprehensive and cohesive language development program.

5. Involve parents and guardians

Share the cheat sheet with parents and guardians to keep them informed about their child's language development goals and progress. Encourage them to support their child's language development at home by providing resources and engaging in meaningful conversations.


The ELD standards can be complex, but with this cheat sheet, you now have a handy resource to guide you through the key components and concepts. By understanding the proficiency levels, strands, and performance level descriptors, you can effectively support your English learners in their language development journey. Remember, language development takes time and practice, so be patient and provide a supportive and nurturing environment for your students to thrive.