Montana: ELL Resources

Map of Montana

As of 2019, Montana’s schools were home to 3,500 English language learners. In recent years, the most common languages spoken by multilingual students in Montana include German, Spanish, North American Indian languages, Russian, and Chinese. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

Montana is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2011. 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

Montana State Department of Education:

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: Montana Contact Information

Statewide Organizations

Montana Association of Language Teachers

Founded in 1954, the association provides its members with pedagogical assistance and linguistic resources for language instruction at elementary, secondary, and university levels. The member organization has an annual conference in the spring, workshops in conjunction with the MEA/MFT Conference in October, and provides a website and dynamic community full of resources. MALT is a constituent of the Pacific Northwest Council on Foreign Languages (PNCFL) and the American council on the Teaching of Foreign​Languages (ACTFL).

Seal of Biliteracy Update: Montana

Montana does not yet have 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!


MFPE is Montana’s largest union, created in 2018 when MEA-MFT (the union for educators) and the Montana Public Employees Association merged. The 25,000 members are dedicated public employees who work all across the state, and include teachers and staff in Head Start, K-12 schools, and higher education.

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.