Pennsylvania: ELL Resources
As of the 2012-13 school year, Pennsylvania's schools were home to more than 52,000 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 69% increase from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common languages spoken by ELLs in Pennsylvania are Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Nepali.
Pennsylvania is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2006. 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: Pennsylvania Department of Education
ELL Website: English as a Second Language
ELP Standards & Assessment
ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards
ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs
Statewide Standards-Based Assessment
Assessment: Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)
NCELA: Title III Information
Common Core State Standards: Yes
AFT Pennsylvania, the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, represents more than 36,000 members in 93 local affiliates throughout the Commonwealth, including teachers and school-related personnel, health care professionals, higher education faculty members and state employees.
Pennsylvania State 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.
PEAL works with families, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs to help them understand their rights and advocate for themselves.
PennTESOL-East is a professional, non-profit association in eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware dedicated to the improvement and advancement of teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Three Rivers Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (Three Rivers TESOL) serves the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia area and is an affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Pennsylvania is in the early stages of the Seal of Biliteracy with a pilot program underway at the local level in Philadelphia. 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. Pennsylvania Rate of EL Growth (1997/98-2007/08). Compiled July 2010 and retrieved from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/t3sis/state/pennsylvania/.