What Is ELD Exactly?

What Is ELD Exactly?


Thank you for all of the positive cooperation with regard to our English Language Development (ELD) students.

For those among us, however, who may not be entirely clear on what exactly ELD is, I’ll try and shed some light on the subject.

ELD, formerly known as ESL (or English as a Second Language), is a program that targets students whose first language is other than English and/or who have significant gaps in their English skills due to a home environment where language other than English is spoken.

Typically ELD students are referred to as either English Learners (ELs) or English Language Learners (ELLs)…depending on who is funding the program.

The purpose of ELD instruction is to provide ELLs with basic forms (internal grammatical structures) and functions (purposes for which speech or writing is used) in English.  In other words, it addresses the “nuts and bolts” of the language.

By way of contrast, ELD is not reading or language arts instruction, but a language acquisition pathway intended to supplement language arts instruction, and to support everyday academic purposes.  That said, I might add that in higher academic circles it is viewed, essentially, as core instruction.

Think of a student’s participation in ELD as being akin to one’s taking a series of required, articulated foreign language courses, only with greater urgency.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely, Bill

ELD Teacher, K-12

Mt.V & SHS