Massachusetts: ELL Resources

Map of Massachusetts

As of 2019, Massachusetts’s schools were home to more than 98,000 English language learners. In recent years, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Massachusetts have been Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Haitian and Haitian-Creole, and Portuguese-based creoles and pidgins. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

Massachusetts is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment). 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.

Note: For additional state-by-state data and information, see New America's English Learner Accountability Hub.

State ELL Resources

ELL Website: English Language Learners

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: Massachusetts Contact Information

Statewide Organizations

Massachusetts Association of Teachers to Speakers of Other Languages

Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (MATSOL) is a professional association representing teachers, English language learners and their families in K-12 public schools in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts: Seal of Biliteracy

On November 22, 2017, Governor Baker signed into law the "Act Relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids," Chapter 138 of the Acts of 2017, commonly referred to as the LOOK Act. The State Seal of Biliteracy is one of the key elements of the LOOK Act. 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.

Federation for Children for Special Needs

Provides information, support, and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners, and their communities.

AFT Massachusetts

AFT Massachusetts is a statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers that works for education reform and the preservation of public schools.

Massachusetts Teachers Association

Massachusetts 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.

Note: Regulations change with time. These guidelines were compiled in January of 2012 and updated in May 2022. 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:


U.S. Department of Education. Our Nation’s English Learners. Most Common Non-English Languages Spoken by English Learners.