Two years of hard work are paying off and everyone (consortium and non-consortium members) will be able to reap the benefits soon.
So what is SALSA? It is a collaborative project between the Illinois State Board of Education, WIDA and the Center for Applied Linguistics. It stands for Spanish Academic Language Standards and Assessment. As the name implies, there are two parts to the project. The first part hasbeen to create Spanish Language Development (SLD) Standards. In Spanish they are referred to as Continuos del Desarrollo Lingüístico. Similar to the English Language Proficiency Standards, the SLD Standards focus on the academic language students will need in Spanish in the various content areas. They have been developed for students in K through 12th grade and can be used with Spanish language learners receiving content area instruction in Spanish. These standards address the Spanish academic language development of students in social and instructional language and the language of math, science, social studies and Spanish language arts. The SLD Standards survey is now available!
If you instruct students in Spanish, please take a few minutes to complete this survey. WIDA needs your feedback on the SLD Standards. As a former bilingual Spanish elementary teacher, I can’t wait to take a closer look at the standards.
The second part of the project will be to develop a standards-based Spanish language development assessment called PODER (Prueba Óptima del Español Realizado). PODER will consist of a screener test and a technology mediated, reliable and valid Spanish language proficiency assessment for kindergarten, first and second graders. (WIDA is currently looking for funding to extend the SLD assessment to grades 3-12). Very exciting!