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English Language Development (ELD) Foundations

The California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 1, describe the competencies—knowledge and skills—that most children can be expected to develop when participating in a high quality early childhood program.

The preschool learning foundations in English-language development (ELD) describe a typical developmental progression for preschool English learners in four general categories (California Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 1, CDE 2008, p. 108):

These foundations are intended to assist adults in planning activities to help dual language learners gain the knowledge and skills necessary in all domains of the California preschool learning foundations. It is important to note that the foundations are not meant to be assessment items or a checklist of behavioral indicators of the knowledge and skills that must be observed before a teacher can decide that the competency is present.   boy playing with shapes

While the other preschool learning foundations describe expectations for children at about 48 and 60 months, the ELD foundations domain is structured as a developmental continuum described as "beginning," "middle," and "later."

It is important to note that young dual language learners may demonstrate uneven development across these foundations and may show higher levels of mastery in certain areas than in others.  For example, children may be able to understand words, though their productive language may be less developed. Progression through the continuum is highly contingent on both the quantity and quality of language experience at home and in the classroom (CDE, 2008, p.107).