Level: ESOL Low and High Intermediate

from David Hayes, 3/28

We make almost no mention of acquired vocabulary use in our reading, speaking and writing. I don't know why I hadn't noticed this before. Right now I'm comparing our work to the National Reporting System's functioning level descriptors, and I see this omission. Demonstration of one's vocabulary acquisition seems important.

Also, there's no mention of skill with interpreting/following/giving directions except in employability. These skills are useful for employability, but are obviously also important to school, family, civic particpation, other social situations.

In writing, we use the word 'structure" at one level, and "grammar" at the other. Should we be using both "structure and grammar" or at least a term which clarifies the meaning somewhat?

I wonder if all standards should be cast in terms of ability to perform. if so, The standard "has difficulty with authentic materials" might be combined with "reads simple lifeskill materials on familiar subjects" To form something like "Reads simple authentic materials on everyday subjects and materials related to life roles, but with some difficulty."

ESL Low Intermediate


Express basic survival needs

Ask and answer questions using simple phrases

Participate in basic, routine conversations

Have inconsistent control of grammar

Express agreement or disagreement

Share a personal story

ESL Low Intermediate


Demonstrate understanding of simple learned phrases

Follow simple directions

ESL Low Intermediate


Read simple lifeskill material on familiar subjects (ads, menus)

Read simple directions-maps, signs, etc.

ji question: reading authentic texts - ie notes from school, bills?

ESL Low Intermediate


Fill out forms with basic information

Write short, simple sentences and messages based on familiar situations

Have some control of basic structure and mechanics

Write a paragraph

Edit learner-generated writing with assistance

ESL Low Intermediate


Hear, understand and write numbers (zero- 100) and numerals

Recognize and reproduce money symbols, i.e., $, cent sign, decimal point, etc.

Recognize and reproduce time symbols; calendars

Recognize non-metric measures for weight, height, distance and temperature

Recognize andunderstand basic dry & liquid measures in the U.S. system

Demonstrate basic computational skills

ESL High Intermediate


Give simple oral directions

Satisfy basic survival needs and limited social demands

Clarify speech through rewording and asking questions

Request information or clarification in person and by phone

Give multiple commands

Articulate problems and engage in problem-solving activities

Express and justify personal opinion

Articluate personal goals

ESL High Intermediate


Follow oral directions

Follow multiple commands

Understand learned phrases easily

Follow conversation with familiar vocabulary at a normal rate of speed

Conduct basic telephone conversations

Understand new phrases with familiar vocabulary

ESL High Intermediate


Read and understand simplified and some authentic material on familiar subjects (schedules, phone books, forms)

Demonstrate comprehension of a short reading passage with familiar content 

Select materials appropriate to interests, purposes and abilities

ESL High Intermediate


Write messages and notes related to basic needs

Fill out more complex forms

Use and understand basic grammar

Write a short essay

Edit/proof writing independently

Compose for different audiences and purposes

ESL High Intermediate


Hear, understand and write numbers (zero -1,000) and number words

Deal with money (i.e., change, sale price interest, credit, tax, etc.)

Calculate and understand mathematical operations used in everyday life, i.e., estimation of total sales, calculate tax, tipping, balancing a checkbook, calculate overtime, etc.

Understand and use calculators, graphs, maps charts, schedules

Recommended Assessment Tools

Intake interview observation Tutor/Teacher Observation LVA ESLOA Test

BEST Short Form Oral Interview BEST

DRAFT 7RIDE: Performance Standards

Updated: 28 March/2000 Donna Sherman, David Hayes, Louise Moulton

to beginning standards

to employability standards

to LR/RI standards page