Illinois: ELL Resources

As of the 2012-13 school year, Illinois's schools were home to more than 190,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 13% increase from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Illinois are Spanish, Arabic , Polish, Chinese, and Urdu.

Illinois is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2004. WIDA is a consortium of states dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English language learners which offers states programming for identifying and annually assessing the English language development of its English learners.

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Illinois State Board of Education

ELL Website: English Language Learning

ELL Identification

Illinois provides guidelines for identifying ELLs in Guidance for Access Testing for Newly Enrolled Students

Home Language Survey: Home Language Survey Form

Placement Exam: WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT)

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards


Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Illinois Assessment Website

Accommodation Manual: Illinois Assessment Accommodations for ELLs

Parent Notification: Illinois State Board of Education provides a range of documents for parents.

Additional Information

Title III Information

WIDA: Illinois Contact Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

Preschool Information

Preschool Programming for English Learners: A description of frequently asked questions about programming for pre-school-aged English learners is offered in Serving English Language Learners in Preschool Programs in Illinois Public School Districts 23 (Ill. Adm. Code Part 228 Frequently Asked Questions*)

Pre-school placement testing for English learners: Identification assessment of pre-school English learners* (PDF)

Statewide Organizations

Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative, University of Illinois

The Early Childhood and Parenting Collaborative at the University of Illinois is home to more than a dozen projects focused on the education, care, and parenting of young children.

Illinois DREAM Act Information

A summary of statewide legislation makeing Illinois the first state in the country to create a private scholarship fund for undocumented youth. It also eases the path to higher education for undocumented youth, 65% of whom come from households that earn 200% under the poverty line.

Illinois Education Association-NEA

Illinois Education Association-NEA is a National Education Association State Affiliate that regularly lobbies legislators for the resources schools need, campaigns for higher professional standards for the teaching profession, and files legal actions to protect academic freedom and the rights of school employees.

Illinois Federation of Teachers

The Illinois Federation of Teachers, a statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, represents 103,000 men and women who teach in school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois& community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.

Illinois State Parent Information Resource Centers

Illinois PIRC offers a variety of programs, resources and information to help parents, teachers, and schools statewide increase parent involvement and improve student success.

Illinois TESOL/BE

Illinois TESOL-BE is a non-profit professional organization of individuals involved in professional development, legislation, government issues, and special interest groups for the teaching of English to speakers of other languages and bilingual education.

Latinos Progresando

Latinos Progresando is a registered nonprofit organization based in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. We assist clients in applying for immigration benefits, do community education and outreach, and advocate and organize around policy that is just to immigrants.

Tibetan Alliance of Chicago

The Tibetan Alliance of Chicago is a volunteer organization dedicated to empowering Chicago's Tibetan community and fostering its further development. The Tibetan Alliance provides services aimed at enabling the community and each Tibetan to meet their needs and achieve their economic, social, cultural and political goals.



Ruiz Soto, Ariel G., Sarah Hooker, and Jeanne Batalova. 2015. States and Districts with the Highest Number and Share of English Language Learners. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Ruiz Soto, Ariel G., Sarah Hooker, and Jeanne Batalova. 2015. Top Languages Spoken by English Language Learners Nationally and by State. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students. Illinois Rate of EL Growth (1997/98-2007/08). Compiled July 2010 and retrieved from

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