ELPS Linguistic Instructional Alignment Guide (LIAG)

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The purpose of the ELPS Linguistic Instructional Alignment Guide (LIAG) is to support teachers as they identify the essential components for providing K-12 instruction commensurate with English language learners' (ELLs') linguistic needs. The consistent integration of these components is critical in lesson planning in order to meet the linguistic and academic needs of ELLs. 


The ELPS LIAG is designed to help teachers gather information needed to ensure that classroom instruction meets the individual academic and linguistic needs of their ELLs.

The ELPS LIAG allows teachers to see connections between

  • English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS),
  • ELPS-TELPAS Proficiency Level Descriptors (PLDs),
  • Linguistic Accommodations, and
  • College Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).

Click the icon below to download a PDF version of the ELPS Linguistic Instructional Alignment Guide.



ELPS LIAG icon

ELPS Linguistic Instructional Alignment Guide





Alignment Components

ELPS LIAG manual inside cover Alignment Components image

The inside cover of the ELPS LIAG includes a description of the instructional tool as well as the four color-coded sections of the linguistic domains. Review the format of the PLDs, ELPS, CCRS, and Suggested Teacher Behaviors (Linguistic Accommodations) as the format will be the same for all language domains.

The K–1 and 2–12 clusters for reading and writing are developmentally and grade-level appropriate. Notice the similarities and differences between the grades K–1 and 2–12 reading and writing PLDs.

Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, §74.4

The Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, §74.4. English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), contains four subsections: (a) Introduction, (b) School district responsibilities, (c) Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills, and (d) Proficiency level descriptors.

  • 74.4 (a)(1)—Section (a) Introduction emphasizes that the ELPS are taught along with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) K–12 for all teachers of ELLs.
    • Requires that “the English language proficiency standards in this section outline English language proficiency level descriptors and student expectations for English language learners (ELLs). School districts shall implement this section as an integral part of each subject in the required curriculum. The English language proficiency standards are to be published along with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for each subject in the required curriculum."
  • 74.4 (a)(6)—Section (a) Introduction references that students identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP), including LEP Denials, are rated based on levels of language proficiency found in the ELPS-TELPAS PLDs.
    • The English language proficiency levels of beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high are not grade-specific. ELLs may exhibit different proficiency levels within the language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The proficiency level descriptors outlined in subsection (d) of this section show the progression of second language acquisition from one proficiency level to the next and serve as a road map to help content area teachers instruct ELLs commensurate with students' linguistic needs.

  • 74.4 (b)(1)—Subsection (b) District responsibilities emphasizes that to effectively support ELLs, teachers shall identify student levels of English proficiency. Knowing students’ English language proficiency levels will assist teachers in determining the support and linguistic accommodations that students may require to be successful.
    • Requires that school districts identify the student's English language proficiency levels in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in accordance with the proficiency level descriptors for the beginning, intermediate, advanced, and advanced high levels.
  • 74.4 (b)(2)—Section (b) District responsibilities emphasizes that classroom instruction should be based on the language needs of students to ensure that content is understood. Linguistic accommodations are changes to the instructional approach based upon the language levels of ELLs.
    • Requires that school districts provide instruction in the knowledge and skills of the foundation and enrichment curriculum in a manner that is linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student’s levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills in the required curriculum.


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For more information, review pp. 4–17 in the ELPS Resource Supplement




ELPS-TELPAS Proficiency Level Descriptors

The PLDs describe how well ELLs at each proficiency level are able to understand and use English to engage in grade-appropriate academic instruction. There are separate PLDs for listening, speaking, reading, and writing.


These descriptors define the stages of second language acquisition and are referred to as English language proficiency levels.


Proficiency levels may also vary within language domains. For example, you may have a student displaying advanced characteristics in listening, while their writing displays an Intermediate level of proficiency. Because of this, it is vital that classroom instruction be commensurate to students’ linguistic needs and/or correlated with their levels of language proficiency in each domain.

Grades 2–12 Reading


ELPS-LIAG-Grades 2 through 12 Reading PLDS page image

Linguistically Accommodated Instruction

Linguistically accommodated instruction can take many forms and is used to communicate content and support language development across language proficiency levels.  

Supplementary materials are used to promote comprehension and support students with acquiring new concepts. Some supplementary materials might include illustrations, charts, manipulatives, and realia (real life objects). 

Instructional delivery is the way we choose to deliver the lesson. For example, before presenting new content, a teacher might activate prior knowledge, identify misconceptions, or review previously taught content (i.e. pre-teach vocabulary, review word walls, identify cognates, and modeling/demonstration).

Assign tasks based on the student’s current level of language proficiency. Being cognizant of students’ language proficiency levels and selecting appropriate tasks or activities will provide the linguistic accommodations needed to ensure success.

Suggested Teacher Behaviors

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Suggested teacher behaviors are examples of recommended linguistic accommodations.  Implementing these in the classroom will support ELLs at various language proficiency levels during listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities.


Linguistic accommodations are recommended language supports teachers incorporate as a means to make content area instruction accessible to ELLs.

Linguistic accommodations are changes to the instructional approach based upon the language proficiency levels of ELLs. The proficiency level descriptors, which describe the English that ELLs are able to understand and use at each language proficiency level, guide teachers in providing appropriate linguistic supports and accommodations.

ELPS Cross-Curricular Student Expectations

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Teachers must take into account their students’ levels of language proficiency and grade level in order to select the appropriate ELPS for academic language development.  One must be purposeful and selective when implementing the ELPS for delivery of instruction in order to meet needs of individual students. 

As a reminder, ELPS are not grade specific.  For example, a secondary student at the beginning level of proficiency may require different ELPS than those of an Advanced level elementary student.


The ELPS Student Expectations integrate and focus on skills that support both social and academic language development.

College and Career Readiness Standards

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The College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) are designed to represent a full range of knowledge and skills students need to succeed in entry-level college courses as well as in a wide range of majors and careers.  The CCRS included in the LIAG represent what students are expected to know and to be able to do and are aligned to each linguistic domain.


The CCRS provide competencies and skills that graduating students must possess to continue their education beyond high school.

ELPS-TELPAS Proficiency Profile

When planning instruction, teachers of ELLs must consider the language proficiency levels of their students as determined by the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS). The ELPS—TELPAS Student Proficiency Profile is a component of the ELPS LIAG that allows teachers to plot students’ TELPAS data by language domain.


By listing students’ names according to their individual language ratings, students’ proficiency levels will be aligned to suggested linguistic accommodations.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) developed TELPAS to meet state and federal testing requirements. TELPAS assesses ELLs annually in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Every student who participates in TELPAS receives test results in a report called the Confidential Student Report. TELPAS uses the four proficiency ratings (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced High) to show the progress students make in learning English from year to year.

In order for students to reach their full academic potential, it is important for them to make steady progress in learning English in the four language domains (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Students who do not make steady progress may require additional assistance in the areas of both language and content learning.

This ELPS-TELPAS Proficiency Profile allows teachers to gain a bird’s eye view of the proficiency levels of their students in each language domain. Please make note that a student may exhibit different proficiency levels of language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, or writing. Plotting the proficiency levels of students drives instructional decisions to accommodate for language proficiency.

ELPS-TELPAS Proficiency Profile page graphic

Monitoring Progress

The ELPS require that linguistic accommodations used during instruction be monitored and adjusted as needed during the school year as students reach higher proficiency levels and/or become familiar with the content.

Monitoring and adjusting instruction is critical for the success of ELLs. Teachers should be consistently checking for progress since the goal is to have students move across the language continuum.  The benefit of this tool is that it provides a means for allowing teachers to place students on the ELPS-TELPAS Proficiency Profile as they progress through the language levels.

Performance-Based Activities

Performance-based activities implemented in the classroom are ways to check for progress throughout the school year. These activities should be incorporated throughout the year and not solely during the TELPAS administration window. Teachers who are a part of the TELPAS Holistic Rating training may be familiar with the listed performance-based activities. These performance-based activities can also be found in each language domain.


The performance-based activities are recommended for teachers to implement in their instruction as ways to gather information on student progress.

Graphic of page 3 of the ELPS-LIAG showing Performance-Based Activities