Michigan: ELL Resources

As of the 2012-13 school year, Michigan's schools were home to more than 80,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 47% increase from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Michigan are Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Albanian, and Vietnamese.

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Michigan Department of Education (MDE)

ELL Website: Title III -- English Learner and Immigrant Education Programs

Professional Development: Professional Learning & State Continuing Education Hours (including ESL courses)

ELP Standards & Assessment

Overview: Michigan WIDA Website

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards

ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Michigan Student Assessment Website

ELL Accommodations: Information is available from the M-STEP website.

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: Michigan ESSA State Plan


Statewide Organizations

AFT Michigan

The mission of AFT Michigan, the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, is to advance the interests of our members and the institutions in which they work.

Michigan Education Association

Michigan 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.

Michigan Alliance for Families

Michigan Alliance for Families  is a statewide resource to connect families of children with disabilities to resources to help improve their children’s education.  We help facilitate parent involvement as a means of improving educational services and outcomes for students with disabilities.

Michigan TESOL

MITESOL is an organization composed of a diverse group of administrators, educators, materials writers, researchers, and teacher trainers primarily from the state of Michigan involved in teaching students whose first language is not English.

Seal of Biliteracy Update: Michigan

Michigan has a Seal of Biliteracy. 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. If you are aware of schools or districts that have adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in the state, send an update to the official Seal of Biliteracy site!

Dearborn Public Schools: EL & Compensatory Education Department

Dearborn Public Schools is committed to interventions that provide language support allowing students to achieve academic success on state standards in all content areas while attaining English Language proficiency and preparing all our students for college and career readiness. The Dearborn EL team has provided professional development for colleagues throughout the state of Michigan.



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. Michigan Rate of EL Growth (1997/98-2007/08). Compiled July 2010 and retrieved from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/t3sis/state/michigan/.