Hawaii: ELL Resources

As of the 2012-13 school year, Hawaii's schools were home to more than 19,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 50% increase from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Hawaii are Ilokano, Chuukese, Marshallese, Tagalog, and Spanish.

Hawaii is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2009. 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: Hawaii State Department of Education

ELL Website: English Language Learner Program

ELL Identification

Placement Exam: WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test (W-APT)

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards

ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Hawaii State Assessment

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: Hawaii Contact Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: Hawaii ESSA State Plan


Statewide Organizations

Hawaii State Parent Information Resource Centers

The overall goal of the Hawaii State PIRC is to increase parental involvement in their children's education to improve academic achievement and to strengthen school-family-community partnerships in meeting children's educational needs.

Hawaii State Teachers Association

Hawaii State 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.

Hawaii TESOL

Hawaii TESOL is committed to building a community of professionals teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) in the State of Hawaii.

Hawaii: Seal of Biliteracy

Hawaii adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in 2015. 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.



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. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/states-and-districts-highest-number-and-share-english-language-learners

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. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/number-and-growth-students-us-schools-need-english-instruction-2009

Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students. Hawaii Rate of EL Growth (1997/98-2007/08). Compiled July 2010 and retrieved from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/t3sis/state/hawaii/.