Maine: ELL Resources

As of the 2012-13 school year, Maine 's schools were home to more than 5,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 112% increase from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Maine are Somali, Arabic , Spanish, French, and Chinese.

Maine is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2003. 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: Maine Department of Education

ELL Website & Manual: English as a Second Language and Bilingual Programs

ELL Statewide Resources: The Maine ESL Go-To Chart (The University of Maine)

ELL Identification

Home Language Survey: Home Language Survey Information

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

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards


ELL Instruction

Maine Department of Education allows for a full range of Language Instruction Educational Programming. It also requires districts to create a Lau Plan to:

  • design an effective program to meet EL needs, including a Language Acquisition Committee (LAC) and Individual Language Acquisition Plans (ILAP);
  • employ appropriate English-as-a-second-language or bilingual personnel (or both);
  • align the instruction of ELs to state content standards; and
  • provide ongoing authentic assessments to ascertain their growth in English language proficiency by administering annually the ACCESS for ELLs™ and in the comprehension of academic content.

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS)

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: Maine Contact Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes





Statewide Organizations


AFT-Maine is a state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers that represents the economic, social and professional interests of classroom teachers.

Maine Education Association

Maine Education Association 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.

Maine State Parent Information Resource Centers

The goal of the Maine PIRC is that all Maine schools will have effective parental involvement in school programs and policies that help each student reach his or her full academic potential, and that these parent-school partnerships are fully supported by local, state and federal resources.

Northern New England Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

NNETESOL serves all ESL professionals in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont working in private and public K-12 schools, post secondary schools, and adult education programs.



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. Maine Rate of EL Growth (1997/98-2007/08). Compiled July 2010 and retrieved from