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, Tennessee's schools were home to more than 25,400 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 200% increase from the 1997-1998 school year (NCELA, 2010). The top five languages or language groups spoken by ELLs in Tennessee  are Spanish, French, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Korean (EPE, 2009).

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Tennessee Department of Education

ELL Websites:

ELL Identification

Placement Exam: Tennessee English Language Placement Assessment (TELPA)

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: State of Tennessee Standards for English Language Learners* (PDF)

ELP Assessment: English Language Development Assessment

ELL Instruction

"An ESL program may be provided through various service delivery models including: ESL pull-out programs, ESL cluster centers to which students are transported from their zone schools, resource centers/ESL laboratories, newcomer centers, push-in or inclusion models, sheltered content classes, content based ESL classes, structured immersion classes, or scheduled ESL class periods." (Overview Title III Program)

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP)

ELL Accommodations: Information is included on the Title III/ESL Resources website.

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

Statewide Organizations

Tennessee Education Association

Tennessee 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.

Tennessee State Parent Information Resource Centers

Tennessee Voices for Children, Inc. speaks out as active advocates for the emotional and behavioral well-being of children and their families.

Tennessee TESOL

TNTESOL&s mission is to develop the expertise of its members and others involved in teaching English to speakers of other languages to help them foster effective communication in diverse settings while respecting individuals& language rights.


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

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