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, Ohio's schools were home to more than 38,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 174% increase from the 1997-1998 school year (NCELA, 2010). The top five languages or language groups spoken by ELLs in Ohio are Spanish, Pennsylvania Dutch, German, French, and Cushite (EPE, 2009).

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Ohio Department of Education

ELL Websites:

ELL Identification

The following documents offer additional information about ELL identification:

Guidelines for the Identification and Assessment of Limited English Proficient Students

Home Language Survey: See the LEP Guidelines (pages 2-3) for a sample Home Language Survey.

Placement Exam: Ohio does not currently mandate a particular ELL identification exam, but recommended screening tools are included on pages 9-10 of the  LEP Guidelines.

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: Ohio English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards

ELP Assessment: Ohio Test of English Language Acquisition (OTELA)

ELL Instruction

School districts have the flexibility to decide on the education approach that best meets the needs of their LEP students and leads to the timely acquisition of the level of English proficiency the students need to succeed in school. The following document includes a brief description of federal law describing districts' responsibilities for selecting programs as well as an overview of different approaches used in Ohio:

Characteristics of Programs Serving LEP Students in Ohio

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Ohio Achievement Assessments

ELL Accommodations: Accommodations on State Assessments

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

Statewide Organizations

Ohio Education Association

Ohio 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.

Ohio Federation of Teachers

AFT Ohio is the State Affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

Ohio State Parent Information Resource Centers

The mission of the Ohio Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC) is to empower all parents and families by providing information, resources and training to support children&s learning and enhance the environments in which they grow.


Ohio TESOL supports Ohio teachers of English to speakers of other languages.


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