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Bilingual Education & English as a New Language

ELL Identification & Placement/Home Language Questionnaire

English Language Learner ID Chart and ID Chart Guidance

In the fall of 2014, the Board of Regents adopted the New York State Education Department’s proposed amendments to Part 154 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education (CR Part 154), which establishes the legal requirements for the education of English Language Learners (ELLs) in New York State (NYS).  CR Part 154 outlines specific procedures that must be followed in order to determine English proficiency during the initial enrollment or reentry process. 

The English Language Learner (ELL) Screening, Identification, Placement, Review, and Exit Criteria flow chart and the accompanying ELL ID Chart Guidance are designed to ensure that school districts uniformly and consistently implement an identification process to determine if a student is an English Language Learner when he or she initially enrolls in or reenters a New York State (NYS) public school. Please use the chart and the accompanying guidance as a reference for proper procedures..

Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ) and HLQ Guidance

After registration and enrollment in the school, the Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ) is completed by the parent/guardian. However, districts may create their own form for diagnostic assessment of a prospective enrollee’s linguistic needs, incorporating questions 1-7 on the HLQ, and distribute at any time, including prior to enrollment. Qualified personnel must be available to determine if a language other than English is spoken at home. Qualified personnel means:
  • A New York State certified bilingual or English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher who is fluent in the home language of the student and parent/guardian or uses  a qualified interpreter/translator of the language or mode of communication the student and parent/guardian best understands OR
  •  A New York State certified teacher who has been trained in cultural responsiveness, language development, and the needs of ELLs and who is proficient in the home language of the student or parent/guardian or uses a qualified interpreter/translator of the language or mode of communication the student or parent/guardian best understands.

The HLQ is available in forty-three languages, including, but not limited to: Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Russian, Polish, Korean, Bengali, Arabic, Urdu, Vietnamese, Amharic, Portuguese, Dari, and Pashto.  Assistance with low incidence language translations can be obtained through your local Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN).

All HLQ translations can be downloaded below:

Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ) in Forty-Three Languages

Albanian  ● Amharic ● Arabic ● Bengali ● Bulgarian ● Burmese ● Chinese Simplified  ● Chinese Traditional  ● Dari ● English ● French ● Fulani German ● Haitian CreoleHausa

Hebrew  ● Hindi ●  HmongIgbo  ● ItalianJapaneseKaren ● Korean  ● Marshallese Maay MaayNepali ● Pashto ● PolishPortuguese  ● Punjabi ● Romanian  ● RussianSomali

SpanishSwahiliTibetanUkrainianUrdu ● Uzbek  ● Vietnamese ● YiddishYorubaZulu

HLQ Quick Links to the most frequently downloaded languages

EnglishSpanishSimplified ChineseArabicBengali ● Russian

Guidance for Administering the Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ) and Conducting the Individual Interview

HLQ and Individual Interview Guidance, which may be downloaded as a PDF, offers critical guidance for administering the Home Language Questionnaire, conducting the Individual Interview, and completing the necessary steps in the ELL Identification and English proficiency assessment process.  It also includes a list of sample individual interview questions.  Please review this guidance before administering the HLQ and conducting the individual  interview.

If an enrollee is a potential Student with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education (SIFE) please see the SIFE information page in order to access resources and tools for identifying SIFE.


Parent Notification Letters

Parents/guardians must be notified promptly regarding a student's assessment results and English Language Learner status.  OBEWL has created a series of parent notification letter templates, translated into multiple languages, that must be used to communicate with parents/guardians regarding a student's status.  You may use the fill-in fields or recreate the letters on your district letterhead. 

Related Links

Enrollment Procedures for Immigrant Students

Enrolling and Serving Recently Arrived Unaccompanied Children


Updated 05/29/2024