English Language Learner and Multilingual Learner Parent Resources
The Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages at the New York State Education Department strives to provide students whose home languages are other than English access to equity and excellence in education. If your child’s home language is other than English and he or she is learning, or on the way to learning English, your child is becoming bilingual. Congratulations! Bilingual children have unique assets and advantages and have great opportunities ahead. The New York State Education Department strongly values bilingualism and strives to provide the best setting for your child to develop his or her full language potential.
We invite you to learn about the educational programs available for newly enrolled students with home or primary languages other than English who need support in reaching English language proficiency. These students are called English Language Learners (ELLs) or Multilingual Learners (MLs). We recognize that these students are not only developing English skills but becoming biliterate or, in some cases, multilingual children.
With more than 200 languages spoken within its borders, New York State is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse places in the world. Having more than one language is among our students’ greatest assets. Thus, educational programs for ELLs across New York State aim to draw on the home or primary language as a resource to ensure that all students are able to excel academically.
In this section of our website, you will find information about how children are identified as ELLs, the kinds of programs available for ELLs, when students can exit ELL programs and services, and how you can obtain additional information, materials, and resources from local schools.
We believe parents and families play a fundamental role in determining which program best addresses the social, cultural, and academic needs of their children. We are excited to partner with you and look forward to working with you throughout this process.