Colorin Colorado: Helping children read... and succeed!
A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
  • small text
  • medium text
  • large text
  • print


As of the 2007-2008 school year, Missouri's schools were home to more than 19,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 162% increase from the 1997-1998 school year (NCELA, 2010). The top five languages or language groups spoken by ELLs in Missouri are Spanish, German, Serbocroatian, Vietnamese, and French (EPE, 2009).

Missouri is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2010. 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: Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

ELL Website: English Language Learners (ELL)

Language Learning Policy: Missouri has compiled a document entitled Ideal Components of English Language Learning Policy.*

ELL Identification

Home Language Survey: "The district must have a procedure in place for identifying ELLs who are enrolling in school. This procedure must determine if there is significant use of a language other than English in a student's background. Either a Home Language Survey or an enrollment form with questions about language use in the home must be administered to all enrolling students."  (Ideal Components of ELL Policy, pg. 2)

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

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards


ELL Instruction

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education states that most of its schools have small numbers of ELLs and use an English to speakers of Other Language [ESOL] approach to programming where districts with high numbers use bilingual education.  Discussion of various model of instruction may be found in the Department's Instructional Program* guide.

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Missouri Assessment Program [MAP]

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: Missouri Contact Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

Statewide Organizations


AFT-Missouri is a statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers that is committed to protecting the employment rights of our members, building support for Missouri&s public schools, and improving educational opportunities for all children.

Mid-America TESOL

MIDTESOL serves mid-America teachers of English from Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri to speakers of other languages.

Missouri NEA

Missouri 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.

Missouri State Parent Information Resource Centers (Springfield, MO)

The Missouri PIRC-Southwest provides parents, community organizations, early childhood caretakers and educators, and schools with training and information on how children develop and what they need to succeed in school.

Missouri State Parent Information Resource Centers (St. Louis, MO)

The Missouri PIRC serves parents, schools, and community organizations throughout the state by providing a wide range of information, training, technical assistance, and resources to help parents promote their children&s achievement in school.


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

* To view this file, you'll need a copy of Acrobat Reader. Most computers already have it installed. If yours does not, you can download it now.