Arizona: ELL Resources

Map of Arizona

As of the 2016-2017 school year, Arizona's schools were home to more than 70,500 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common four languages spoken by ELLs in Arizona were Spanish, Vietnamese, Navajo, and Somali. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

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.

Research and Reports

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.