The English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes (ELPBO)

The English Language Proficiency Benchmarks and Outcomes are a set of benchmarks, meant to serve as a guide in setting goals and establishing progress of limited English speaking students (LEPs). A limited English proficient is defined as a student whose first language is a language other than English who is unable to perform ordinary classroom work in English.

Specifically, the purpose of the document is to:

  •  for all teachers of LEP students the English Language Proficiency Outcomes that indicate an LEP student has made progress in learning English and/or has moved to a level of performance in English that permits the student’s participation and achievement in academic classroom activities that are not tailored to limited English proficient students; and

  • serve as the basis for defining the Benchmarks and Outcomes that will be annually assessed by the Department of Education’s future English Proficiency for LEP Students as now required by state and federal law (Massachusetts Chapter 71A and No Child Left Behind, respectively).

Three central themes are found throughout the ELPBO document:

  • Vocabulary is integral to language development.
  • The role of oral language is essential in the development of Academic English Proficiency, and,
  • There is a critical relationship between English language acquisition and instruction in other academic subjects.

Organization of the ELBPO
The ELPBO document is organized around four language domains: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Cultural, as a basis for understanding language and identity, is also an integral strand within the document.