In October of 2016, OCTAE released the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards for Adult Education. The intention of the ELP Standards is to provide the language support needed for English language learners to meet college and career readiness standards. According to the ELP Report: “The ELP Standards are essential to ensuring that adult ELLs receive the focused and effective instruction they need to access states’ academic content standards. To that end, the ELP Standards strongly emphasize the academic language needed by ELLs to engage with and meet state-adopted content standards.”

The release of the ELP Standards presents Massachusetts with an interesting question as to how to make optimal use of them while considering our own state ESOL standards from the Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Framework for ESOL as well as the CCR Standards. The SABES PD Center for ESOL is working closely with ACLS on reviewing the ELP Standards to determine their use in ESE-funded ABE/ESOL programs and to determine the role that the current standards and benchmarks from the Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Framework for ESOL and the CCR Standards will play. The review process includes input from ESOL practitioners and other stakeholders in the field, with a determination expected to be made by the end of the fiscal year.

OCTAE will provide professional development (PD) to support use of these standards, and the American Institutes for Research will offer three online PD modules starting in the spring of 2017 and continuing through the summer of 2018. The SABES PD Center for ESOL will develop PD for Massachusetts ESOL practitioners once a determination has been made regarding the expectations for their use in the field.

In the meantime, you may want to familiarize yourself with the ELP Standards, available on the SABES website:

If you have questions about the ELP Standards, please contact Dori McCormack at or Jane Schwerdtfeger at

PD Center
SABES English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Curriculum & Instruction PD Center