California: ELL Resources

Map of California

As of the 2016-2017 school year, California's schools were home to more than 1,260,500 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in California were Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Arabic. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

State ELL Resources

State Agency: California Department of Education

ELL Website: English Learners in California

Laws & Regulations

ELL Guidance & Documents: ELL Forms Website


ELL Identification

Home Language Survey: A sample home language survey and translations are available through the CDE English Learner Forms website.

Placement Exam: California English language Development Test (CELDT)

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: English-language Development Standards

ELP Assessment: English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC)

English Language Arts Materials: CDE Web site

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System

Additional Information

Title III Information: Title III Information and Accountability

NCELA: Title III Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: California ESSA State Plan

Statewide Organizations

California and Nevada TESOL

CATESOL, which represents teachers of English language learners throughout California and Nevada, promotes excellence in education for English-language learners and a high-quality professional environment for their teachers.

California Association of Bilingual Education

The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1976 to promote bilingual education and quality educational experiences for all students in California.

California DREAM Act

This website provides information about California's DREAM Act, as well as steps for filling out an application.

California Federation of Teachers

As the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, the CFT represents faculty and other school employees in public and private schools and colleges, from early childhood through higher education.

California: Seal of Biliteracy

California was the first state to create and adopt the Seal of Biliteracy. The state adopted the Seal in 2012. Learn more about that process in this article from Laurie Olsen of Californians Together. 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.

California Healthy Kids Resource Center (CHKRC)

The California Healthy Kids Resource Center (CHKRC) maintains a comprehensive collection of health education materials for professionals who work with preschool through 12th grade students in school settings and after-school programs.

California State Parent Information Resource Center

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

California Teachers Association

California Teachers 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.

California Youth Services

California Youth Services is a multi-service nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a variety of programs and services to include education, prevention, intervention, assessment, and counseling that assist and support adolescents, individuals, couples, and families to address life's challenges specializing in issues related to substance abuse, delinquent behavior, mental health struggles, and families in crisis.

Californians Together

Californians Together is a statewide coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates and civil rights groups committed to securing equal access to quality education for all children, specifically underserved English Language Learners.


EdSource is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to clarify complex education issues and to promote thoughtful policy decisions about public school improvement.

Korean American Coalition

KAC is a national nonprofit community service, education and advocacy organization established in 1983 to facilitate the Korean American community's effective participation in civic, legislative, political and community affairs. The first chapter was founded in Los Angeles.

Partnering to Create a College-Going Culture: Resource Guide

Prepared as part of the Building Educational Success Through (BEST) Collaboration in Los Angeles County initiative, this report is meant to serve as a resource for local educators aiming to build and maintain partnerships geared toward cultivating college going cultures in their schools.

Policy Analysis for California Education

PACE is an independent research center that aims to enrich education policy debates with sound analysis and hard evidence. From preschool, to K-12, to higher education we are dedicated to carefully defining issues and assessing the effectiveness of policies and programs. PACE provides analysis and assistance to policymakers, educators, and the public.

Public Policy Institute of California

PPIC is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research. PPIC examines a number of issues, including education and immigration.

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.