North Dakota: ELL Resources

Map of North Dakota

As of the 2016-2017 school year, North Dakota’s schools were home to a little over 3,000 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in North Dakota were Spanish, Somali, Nepali, Arabic, and Bosnian. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

North Dakota 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: North Dakota Department of Public Instruction

ELL Website: English Learner/Multicultural Education

ELL Identification

Placement Exam: WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test

ELP Standards & Assessment

ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards

ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Statewide Assessments

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: North Dakota Contact Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: North Dakota ESSA State Plan

Statewide Organizations

Dakota TESOL

Dakota TESOL provides support, advocacy, and professional development opportunities for those in the Dakotas and surrounding states who work with English as a second language students or English language learners.

North Dakota United

North Dakota United 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.

Pathfinder Services of North Dakota

Pathfinder Services of ND is a nonprofit organization that provides information, training, individual assistance, and resources to parents of children that are at-risk due to learning challenges or have disabilities (age birth to 26).

Seal of Biliteracy Update: North Dakota

North Dakota recognizes the Seal of Biliteracy, 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!

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.