North Carolina: ELL Resources

As of the 2012-13 school year, North Carolina's schools were home to more than 102,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 71% increase from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in North Carolina are Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Hmong.

North Carolina is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2008. 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: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

ELL Website: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction English as a Second Language (ESL)

ELL Manual: LEP Coordinator Handbook Outline, Basic ESL and Title III Program Implementation Timeline

ELL Identification

Guidance on identifying ELLs is available in the following guides:

Home Language Survey: North Carolina offers information about the ways in which a Home Language Survey should be used to identify ELLs, as well as a sample Home Language Survey on its website.

Placement Exam: WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards


ELL Instruction

Information about North Carolina's ELL instructional programs can be found in the following:

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: North Carolina Testing Program

ELL Accommodations: Testing Accommodations and LEP Students

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: North Carolina Contact Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes


Statewide Organizations

Carolina TESOL

Carolina TESOL is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve the quality of education for English language learners in North and South Carolina and to promote effective intercultural communication and understanding.

Discover North Carolina: Field Trips

This website from the UNC School of Education offers an effective example of a statewide database of field trip ideas. The site offers a guide to local educational resources throughout North Carolina for field trips, classroom use, and student research, as well as related lesson plans and websites to help teachers integrate the experience into classroom teaching.

North Carolina Association of Educators

North Carolina Association of Educators 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.

North Carolina State Parent Information Resource Centers

"The North Carolina State PIRC provides information, skills and supports necessary for families and schools to work together to improve academic performance."

Pakistani American Anjuman

The Pakistani American Anjuman is a non-political, non-sectarian, cultural, and social organization that strives to promote the presence of the people from Pakistan living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Our mission is to provide cultural and social interaction for the families and individuals of the Pakistani community and to offer a variety of programs and services to its members.



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

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