New Jersey: ELL Resources

Map of New Jersey

As of the 2016-2017 school year, New Jersey’s schools were home to more than 70,500 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in New Jersey were Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Korean. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

New Jersey is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2005. 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: New Jersey Department of Education

ELL Web Resources:

Division of Early Education: Preschool Guidance & Materials

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards

ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: New Jersey Assessment Website

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: New Jersey Contact Information

Common Core: Yes

ESSA: New Jersey ESSA State Plan

Statewide Organizations

New Jersey Education Association

New Jersey 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.

New Jersey Federation of Teachers

The New Jersey Federation of Teachers promotes statewide organization and unionization of teachers and all other personnel engaged in education in order to carry out the program and policies of the NJSFT and the American Federation of Teachers.

New Jersey TESOL/New Jersey Bilingual Educators

NJTESOL/NJBE is an association of educators and administrators dedicated to the instruction English language learners at all levels of public and private education. The organization's interests include classroom practices, research, curriculum development, funding, employment and socio-political concerns.


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.

New Jersey: Seal of Biliteracy

New Jersey adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in 2016. 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.

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.