• 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