English language learners (ELLs) are students who are in the process of learning English. While many ELLs are immigrants, the majority are born in the U.S.

Other names for this student population

  • English learners (ELs)
  • Dual-language learners
  • Bilingual/multilingual students

Name for programs of English instruction

  • English as a second language (ESL)
  • English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)
  • English language development (ELD)
  • English as a new language (ENL)
  • English language learner (ELL) instruction
  • English learner (EL) instruction
  • Limited English Proficient (LEP)*

*While this term was used for a long time by the federal government, it has been generally been phased out in favor of more asset-based focus terminology.