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English Language Learner KnowledgeBase for Administrators & Teachers

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The English Language Learner (ELL) KnowledgeBase for Administrators and Teachers is an online resource supporting both the administration, teaching and execution of programs for English learning students. It offers resources related to Office for Civil Rights (OCR) requirements and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Task 2: Ensure that all ELL Students Have Access to English Language Learner Program

Guideline: There should be no substantial delays in placing English language learner (ELL) students at each grade level in the ELL program. For high school students, participation in ELL programs should be applicable towards graduation requirements.



Explore ELL Students, and More!

This Pinterest resource offers twenty low-cost ideas to make a school a "wonderful place for English as a Second Language (ESL) and ELL newcomers." The list aids school staff members by considering a wide range of possibilities as they plan and implement their ELL instructional program. These offerings include: ESL lesson plans and curriculum, additional online ESL resources, video based lessons, ESL games and flashcards, tips for teachers who work with ELL students, and additional ELL resources.


ELL Starter Kit for Educators

As noted at the Colori­n Colorado website, this resource offers educators "tools for monitoring language skills. This starter kit was developed with Spanish-speaking ELLs in mind (because they account for more than 80 percent of all ELL students in the United States), but the monitoring forms also will be helpful for students from other cultural and linguistic backgrounds."


Principle-Based Approaches for Educating English Language Learners

Compiled by the Education Alliance at Brown University, these principles are offered as a guide for building a school environment that encourages and supports English language learners. 

TESOL Principle-Based Approach for English Language Teaching Policies and Practices

This 2012 TESOL white paper introduces the notion of a principle-based approach (PBA) for English Language teaching policies and practices. PBA identifies six principles aimed at helping policymakers, researchers, and practitioners build effective and successful practices within varied contexts while identifying and engaging with the challenges that the implementation of these practices will encounter.


Practical Tips

Ideas for Working with ELL Students

This article provides eight strategies that can help ELL students learn and transition to content classroom instruction successfully.

Teaching ELL Students

This article provides seven "tips for success" from experienced ELL teachers that can help immigrant and migrant students learn and be successful in the classroom.



National Indian Education Association (NIEA) Letter to Department of Education Secretary Concerning ESSA

NIEA's President Patricia Whitefoot provides feedback to the Secretary of Education, John King, concerning the implementation of and transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


English-Only States and Native Language Assessment Under ESSA

This 2017 New America article by Tony Hanna focuses on the new benefits the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) brings to English Language Learners and/or native language students.  These new benefits for ELs under ESSA include expanded requirements in reporting EL data, the possibility of increased funding for EL programs, and more nuanced school rating systems that take into account the English proficiency of students.

Another key component of the new law is how states must address native language assessment for ELs. The new law stipulatesthat states must “identify languages other than English that are present to a significant extent in their participating student populations,” indicate the languages for which annual student achievement tests are not available, and “make every effort” to develop such assessments. In providing achievement assessments in each student’s native language, the idea is that state education agencies can get a potentially more meaningful read of EL’s knowledge of the subject matter, rather than their English proficiency.

Hope for English Language Learners

This January 2016 U.S. News and World Report article explores how America recently passed a remarkable milestone in public education: For the first time, minority students – Black, Hispanic, Asian-American and Native-American students – now make up a majority of our public school students. This increase in racial and ethnic diversity has been accompanied by an increase in language diversity, as the number of students learning English as a second language has grown dramatically in recent decades. In 1990, for example,one in 20 public schoolstudents were an ELL. Today, this figure is closer to one in nine, or 4.5 million students in total. Nearly three-quartersof public schools enroll at least one ELL.

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and are intended for general reference purposes only. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education or the Center, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Some resources on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader. This website archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.