Illinois’ Spanish Language Arts Standards had not been updated since 2005. As a result, during the last decade, these standards were no longer aligned with other Illinois learning standards. These updated standards are now as rigorous as the English Language Arts Standards, and are aligned to the Illinois learning standards and the Common Core. Given the increased population of Spanish speaking English learners (ELs) in Illinois in the last 15 years (currently about 175,000 students), these standards will greatly assist the continued growth and development of Spanish/English dual language programs.
These updated standards are not simply a translation but are tailored to the Spanish language reflecting specific linguistic nuances necessary for instruction. For classroom teachers, these standards will be an updated guide to teaching to the standards and are also aligned to research regarding current teaching of Spanish Language Arts in U.S. classrooms.
Since Illinois intends to update its current summative assessment system, these refurbished Spanish Language Arts standards will mandate assessment vendors to create a Spanish Language Arts assessment. Such native language assessments have been encouraged by the US Department of Education for several years, and this is now the opportune time for Illinois to create such a long overdue assessment. As a result, a Spanish Language Arts assessment will elevate the status of Spanish instruction in classrooms across the state and provide a more equitable manner to gauge the academic progress of Spanish speaking English learners.At a recent May 13 IAMME event focused on these updated Spanish language arts standards, more than 50 people attended this activity. Participants expressed much support and enthusiasm regarding these standards.
For these reasons, IAMME strongly supports this update of the Spanish Language Arts standards and encourages the Illinois State Board of Education to adopt them as soon as possible.
Originally, the Illinois Association for Bilingual Education (IABE) was a pioneer affiliate of NABE. It was founded in the early 70′s in response to the need for promoting educational services for potentially English proficient (PEP) students in the State of Illinois. In 1988, in an effort to include all educators involved with linguistically and culturally diverse students, the name was changed to the Illinois Association for Multilingual Multicultural Education (IAMME).