North Carolina: ELL Resources

Map of North Carolina

As of the 2016-2017 school year, North Carolina’s schools were home to more than 92,000 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in North Carolina were Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Hmong. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

North Carolina is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2008. 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: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

ELL Website: North Carolina Department of Public Instruction English Learners

ELL Manual: Title III/ESL/LEP Coordinator Handbook (Livebinder)

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards

ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs

North Carolina Department of Education: Testing Students Identified as English Learners

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: North Carolina Testing Program

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: North Carolina Contact Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: North Carolina ESSA State Plan

Statewide Organizations

Carolina TESOL

Carolina TESOL is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to improve the quality of education for English language learners in North and South Carolina and to promote effective intercultural communication and understanding.

North Carolina Association of Educators

North Carolina Association of Educators 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.

North Carolina: Seal of Biliteracy

In January 2015, the State Board of Education approved the Global Languages Endorsement, North Carolina's Seal of Biliteracy. It provides a way for students to show their multiliteracy in English and at least one World Language. Students may add as many World Languages for which they qualify to a Global Languages Endorsement on their diploma.

Exceptional Children's Assistance Center

ECAC is dedicated to empowering families and improving lives, particularly for North Carolina families raising children ages 0 to 26 with disabilities.

Pakistani American Anjuman

The Pakistani American Anjuman is a non-political, non-sectarian, cultural, and social organization that strives to promote the presence of the people from Pakistan living in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Our mission is to provide cultural and social interaction for the families and individuals of the Pakistani community and to offer a variety of programs and services to its members.

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.