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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Richard Vespucci 
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director

For Release: May 18, 2006

Educators Can Register Now for Workshops on English Language Proficiency Standards

The New Jersey Department of Education has scheduled three regional workshops in June to familiarize educators with new English as a Second Language (ESL) standards to be used in New Jersey.  Schools will use these standards and the language proficiency test, ACCESS for ELLs, to determine progress made by students in learning English and to satisfy federal requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The one-day workshops will be held on June 6, 7 and 8, 2006, to introduce districts to the world-class instructional design and assessment (WIDA) English language proficiency (ELP) standards.  Activities are designed to be hands-on and interactive, giving participants opportunities to use the standards to develop curricula and provide standards-based instruction.  Each workshop will:

  • Discuss how the WIDA standards framework is related to the English as a Second Language standards for students in grades Pre-K-12 developed by the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards;
  • Discuss how the WIDA standards form the basis for ACCESS for ELLs (English language learners), New Jersey’s new English language proficiency test;
  • Present the WIDA language proficiency standards framework and the model performance indicators which represent the full range of linguistic complexity that students must acquire for social and academic purposes; and
  • Demonstrate how the WIDA standards framework can be linked to the New Jersey ESL standards and used to expand and improve district ESL curricula.

Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act requires that states develop English language proficiencies that are linked to academic content standards and that create a continuous pathway to academic success for English language learners.  NCLB further requires states to develop and implement English language proficiency assessments that measure student mastery of academic language skills, and ways to measure long-term progress annually in acquiring English across grade spans.

To this end, the Department of Education has joined the WIDA consortium of states, led by the Wisconsin Department of Education, in developing the standards to be measured and tool of measurement, ACCESS for ELLs.  Beginning in 2006-07, all New Jersey school districts must use the ACCESS for ELLs test to measure the annual progress of English language learners in learning English.

The workshops will be offered regionally as follows:

SOUTHERN REGION:  June 6, 2006 at the Gloucester County Office of Education, 1492 Tanyard Road, Sewell, New Jersey, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Directions can be found on the internet at:

CENTRAL REGION:  June 7, 2006 at Middlesex County College, Edison Campus, Technical Service Center (TSC) Room 100, 2600 Woodbridge Avenue, Edison, New Jersey, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Directions can be found on the internet at http://www.middlesexcc.educ/about/control.cfm/ID/837

NORTHERN REGION:  June 8, 2006 at the Morris County Fire Fighter and Police Training Academy, West Hanover Avenue, Parsippany, New Jersey, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Directions can be found on the internet at

For more information or to register, call the Office of Specialized Populations at 609-292-8777 or visit