Hawaii: ELL Resources

Map of Hawaii

As of the 2016-2017 school year, Hawaii's schools were home to more than 12,500 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Hawaii were Iloko, Chuukese, Marshallese, Tagalog, and Spanish. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

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.

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.