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A bilingual site for families and educators of English language learners
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South Carolina

As of the 2007-2008 school year, South Carolina's schools were home to more than 28,500 English language learners (ELLs), which marks an 827% increase from the 1997-1998 school year (NCELA, 2010). The top five languages or language groups spoken by ELLs in South Carolina are Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, and German (EPE, 2009).

State ELL Resources

State Agency: South Carolina Department of Education

ELL Website: Title III - English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

ELL Manual: English Language Learning Handbook* (PDF)

ELL Identification

Home Language Survey: The Home Language Survey is required. More information is included on page 13 of the English Language Learning Handbook,* and a sample Home Language Survey is available in Appendix G.

Placement Exam: According to the English Language Learning Handbook,* a school system may use one of the following assessments "for placement and diagnostic purposes:"

  • IDEA Proficiency Test (IPT)
  • Language Assessment Scales (LAS)
  • Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey (WÑLS)
  • ELDA Initial Screener. (Page 15)

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: SC ESOL Standards* (PDF)

ELP Assessment: English Language Development Assessment (ELDA)

ELL Instruction

According to the English Language Learning Handbook,* The South Carolina Department of Education does not, from a statewide perspective, prescribe specific guidelines for determining the nature of programs designed for English language learners. The number of students may vary from only a few in some LEAs to several thousand in others. For this reason, decisions concerning the instructional program model must be made by each LEA."  Options include:

  • Content-Based ESOL Instruction
  • Structured Immersion with ESOL Methodologies
  • Sheltered Instruction
  • Newcomer Program
  • Inclusion (Page 20)

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS)

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III 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.

South Carolina Education Association

South Carolina 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.

South Carolina State Parent Information Resource Centers

The SC PIRC reaches out to parents of low-income, minority, and limited English proficient children enrolled in elementary and secondary schools, helping them to understand No Child Left Behind legislation and to communicate effectively with school personnel.


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

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