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Bilingual Education & English as a New Language

A Guide for Parents of English Language Learners and Multilingual Learners in New York State

This ten page booklet includes Bilingual Education and English as a New Language program descriptions, Frequently Asked Questions about English Language Learners and Multilingual Learners, Facts about Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, links to English Language Learner parent resources, and tips on “Participating in Your Child’s Education.” This booklet has been translated into 25 languages, including the top ten ELL home languages in NYS.

A Guide for Parents of English Language Learners in New York State Translated into 26 Languages

Quick Links to Most Commonly Searched Languages

Spanish  Chinese   Arabic  English


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.

Elisa Alvarez, Associate Commissioner of  the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages



Updated 2/20/24