Standards & Instruction

English Language Development Standards

Maine is a member of the WIDA Consortium, and the foundation for Maine's ESOL programs is the WIDA English Language Development Standards. The Framework provides a clear and coherent structure to guide the development of curriculum, instruction, and assessment of content-driven language learning. This updated, comprehensive edition is centered in equity and fosters the assets, contributions, and potential of multilingual learners. Visit the Teaching with Standards page on the WIDA website to download the 2020 Edition, learn about professional learning opportunities, and access resources. 

Maine DOE: WIDA English Language Development Standards Implementation Planning Tool for Schools/Districts

Implementing the WIDA English Language Development Standards Framework, 2020 Edition, in Your Classroom

Subscribe to the Maine DOE ESOL Listserv and check the Professional Development Calendar for opportunities to learn more about the WIDA ELD Standards and other ESOL-related topics. 


Instructional Models

The Maine DOE does not require a specific program type to be implemented for multilingual learners. Schools are able to implement the WIDA English Language Development Standards, in conjunction with the Maine Learning Results, through a variety of instructional models or program types. The model or models that a school elects to implement should be based on the needs of their individual multilingual learners. Schools are encouraged to move in the direction of bilingual programs, which support students in acquiring English while also preserving and further developing their home/primary languages.

When designing a student's program of services, please refer to the English Language Acquisition Service Provision and Staffing Guidance. All students who are identified as multilingual learners have a civil right to services provided by an ESOL-endorsed teacher.

In the student data system, schools must report the program type each multilingual learner is engaged in. The following program type labels are aligned with federal reporting requirements. Students may receive multiple kinds of support, according to their needs. 

Language Instruction Educational Programs:

LNGPRGBI – Transitional Bilingual Education or Early-Exit Bilingual Education

Instruction begins in the students’ primary/home language, in order not to delay content learning. Students develop English proficiency as quickly as possible so that all instruction may then be in English.

LNGPRGDU – Dual Language or Two-way Immersion

Instruction is in the students’ primary/home language part of the time and in English the rest of the time, with the goal of developing proficiency and academic skills in both languages. Two-way immersion programs include students from each language group.

LNGPRGESLELD – English as Second Language (ESL) or English Language Development (ELD)

Instruction is in English only. Students learn academic content through English while developing proficiency in English. Typically, ESL/ELD programs involve direct pull-out or push-in instruction from a 600 ESOL-endorsed teacher. (Note that in Maine, we refer to English for Speakers of Other Languages programs rather than ESL.)

LNGPRGESLSUPP – Content Classes with integrated ESL support

Instruction is in English only. The ESOL-endorsed teacher supports the content teacher in delivering effective instruction for English learners, and/or the content teacher is ESOL-endorsed. 

LNGPRGNEW – Newcomer programs

Recently-arrived immigrants, especially those with limited or interrupted formal schooling, are provided with intensive language, cultural, and academic skills programming to prepare them to enter the mainstream. Typically, students remain in newcomer programs for no longer than one year, per federal guidance.