As of the 2016-2017 school year, Colorado's schools were home to more than 105,500 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Colorado were Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Russian. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)
Colorado is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), fully adopting WIDA in 2013. 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: Colorado Department of Education (CDE)
ELL Website: Office of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
ELL Manual: Guidebook on Designing, Delivering, and Evaluating Services for English Learners (updated 10/16)
Toolkit: Learners who are Culturally and/or Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Suspected of Having Educational Disabilities
Laws & Regulations
The following documents offer additional information about statewide ELL regulations:
Home Language Survey: Title III information includes a Home Language Survey.
Placement Exam: W-APT
ELP Standards & Assessment
ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards
ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs
The Colorado State Department of Education allows LEAs a good deal of flexibility in determining the means by which English learners are instructed.
Statewide Standards-Based Assessment
Assessment: Colorado Assessment Information
Accommodations information: Annual Instructional & Assessment Accommodations Training (PPT)
NCELA: Title III Information
WIDA: Colorado Contact Information
Common Core State Standards: Yes
ESSA: Colorado ESSA State Plan
CFT, the Colorado statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, gains improved working conditions for teachers and better learning conditions for students by proposing statewide tenure laws, teacher certification standards, school district reorganization, and improved school financing.
Colorado Education Association
Colorado 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.
Parent Resource Centers
State parent information resource centers are listed in this directory compiled by the Center for Parent Information & Resources. Also see Promising Partnership Practices in Colorado.
CoTESOL is a dynamic, growing organization of educators involved in various aspects of second language learning and bilingual education.
Colorado: Seal of Biliteracy
Colorado adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in 2017, following a pilot program in local districts. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.