Massachusetts ESL Programming Services Study

To build upon existing state-developed tools and resources for ESL educators, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) contracted CAL to conduct research on ESL practices in Massachusetts and other states.

CAL conducted a literature review that examined widely used English Language Development (ELD)/English Language Proficiency (ELP) frameworks and standards; best practices in English Learner Education (ELE) program models, ESL teaching models and ESL instruction; and current trends in professional development offerings for ESL educators. CAL also prepared an annotated bibliography summarizing relevant research findings on this topic. A comparative analysis of ESL services and frameworks in ten states was conducted to determine current trends in ESL instruction nationwide. Finally, an online survey was distributed to Massachusetts ESL educators to better understand current practices and needs within this community.

CAL delivered a final report summarizing the findings from each research component and final recommendations for DESE on how to best meet the needs of Massachusetts ESL teachers, school/district leaders, and students. These recommendations included developing a DESE-created ESL framework; developing robust resources to support ESL framework implementation; and providing rich and sustained professional development opportunities.