Connecticut: ELL Resources

Map of Connecticut

As of the 2016-2017 school year, Connecticut's schools were home to more than 36,500 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Connecticut were Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, and French-based creoles and pidgins. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Connecticut State Department of Education

ELL Website: Bilingual Education and ESL Information

ELL Manual: Administrative Resource Handbook for Coordinators of Programs for English Language Learners in Connecticut's Public Schools

ELL Identification

Detailed information about identification procedures can be found through the Administrators Resource Handbook and through the state's Bilingual Education and ESL Resource Page.

Placement Exam: Connecticut's SEA allows some flexibility in identification testing. While it names the same exam used to measure EL proficiency (LAS Links) as a means for providing identification assessments, it also allows districts to use other identification assessments and also encourages districts to use additional means for identifying its ELs including parent interviews. 

Note: Parent notification letters are also available on the state website regarding ELL identification and AMAOs.

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: CT ELL Proficiency (CELP) Standards (Document)

ELP Assessment: As with each state, Connecticut SEA requires that its public and public charter school students participate in an annual assessment of English language development using Language Assessment Scale [LAS links].

ELL Instruction

The type of ELL programming is determined by the district by "considering the language proficiency levels of the students" (Handbook, 19).

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Student Assessment Website

ELL Accommodations: Accommodations for Special Populations

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: Connecticut ESSA State Plan

Statewide Organizations

AFT Connecticut

AFT Connecticut, a statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, has over 28,000 members in more than ninety locals representing teachers and school-related personnel, state and municipal employees, health care professionals, and higher education faculty.

Capitol Region Education Council (CT)

CREC began as a grassroots organization of local school districts in Connecticut working together to solve common problems. Its mission is to work with boards of education of the Capitol Region to improve the quality of public education for all learners.

Connecticut Education Association

Connecticut 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.

Connecticut Family Partnerships

The CT State Department of Education's Family-Partnership resource section provides a variety of tools for schools to support parent outreach. Also see the CT Family Guide to Supporting ELLs.

Parent Resource Centers

State parent information resource centers are listed in this directory compiled by the Center for Parent Information & Resources.

Connecticut TESOL

ConnTESOL, the Connecticut affiliate of National TESOL, serves the teachers of English to speakers of other languages and their students.

Connecticut: Seal of Biliteracy

Connecticut adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in 2017. 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.

State Education Resource Center (CT)

SERC is a nonprofit agency primarily funded by the Connecticut State Department of Education. SERC provides professional development and information dissemination in the latest research and best practices to educators, service providers, and families throughout the state, as well as job-embedded technical assistance and training within schools, programs, and districts.

Note: Regulations change with time. These guidelines were compiled in January of 2012 and updated in January 2020. If you see something that needs updating, please send an e-mail to Colorín Colorado. For more detailed information regarding ELL guidelines and policies at the state and federal levels, please see the following:


National Center for Education Statistics. (2018.) English language learner (ELL) students enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, fall 2000 through fall 2016. 

U.S. Department of Education. Our Nation’s English Learners. Most Common Non-English Languages Spoken by English Learners.