Colorin Colorado: Helping children read... and succeed!
A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
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As of the 2007-2008 school year, Maine's schools were home to more than 4,200 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 53.5 increase from the 1997-1998 school year (NCELA, 2010). The top five languages or language groups spoken by ELLs in Maine are Spanish, Cushite, French, Persian, and Chinese (EPE, 2009).

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: English as a Second Language and Bilingual Programs

ELL Manual:

ELL Identification

Home Language Survey: Sample of Home Language Survey

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 programming 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.


Editorial Projects in Education (EPE). "Most Common Non-English Languages Spoken by ELL Youths, by State." Perspectives on a Population: English-Language Learners in American Schools (Education Week's Quality Counts 2009 Report). Pg. 13. Retrieved from January 2009.

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

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