Arizona: ELL Resources

As of the 2012-13 school year, Arizona's schools were home to more than 91,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 35% decrease from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Arizona are Spanish, Arabic, Navajo, Vietnamese, and Somali. (Migration Policy Institute, 2015).

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Arizona Department of Education

ELL Website: Office of English Language Acquisition Services (OELAS)

ELL Guidance & Documents: State ELL Forms

State Regulations: Structured Immersion Task Force Website

ELL Identification

Placement Exam: Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA)

ELP Standards & Assessment

Statewide ELP Standards: AZ English Language Proficiency Standards

Statewide Assessment of English Language Development: Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA)

ELL Instruction

Arizona's State Department of Education provides Local Education Agencies [LEAs] with key laws and regulations regarding the education of English learners. This includes the requirement that students be taught in English using a format that the state refers to as structured English immersion (SEI).

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS)

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

The state website provides additional Title III resources.

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: Arizona ESSA State Plan


Statewide Organizations

Arizona Education Association

Arizona 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.

Arizona TESOL

AZ-TESOL (Arizona TESOL) is the Arizona state affiliate of TESOL, the international professional organization for educators in the field of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

Arizona: Seal of Biliteracy

Arizona has a statewide Seal of Biliteracy, adopted in 2016. 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.

Parent Resource Centers

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



Ruiz Soto, Ariel G., Sarah Hooker, and Jeanne Batalova. 2015. States and Districts with the Highest Number and Share of English Language Learners. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Ruiz Soto, Ariel G., Sarah Hooker, and Jeanne Batalova. 2015. Top Languages Spoken by English Language Learners Nationally and by State. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students. Arizona Rate of EL Growth (1997/98-2007/08). Compiled July 2010 and retrieved from

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