Ohio: ELL Resources

Map of Ohio

As of the 2016-2017 school year, Ohio’s schools were home to more than 56,500 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Ohio were Spanish, Somali, Arabic, Chinese, and German. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Ohio Department of Education

ELL Websites:

ELL Identification

The following documents offer additional information about ELL identification:

Guidelines for Identifying Eanglish Learners

ELP Standards

ELP Standards: ELPA21

ELL Instruction

School districts have the flexibility to decide on the education approach that best meets the needs of their LEP students and leads to the timely acquisition of the level of English proficiency the students need to succeed in school. The following document includes a brief description of federal law describing districts' responsibilities for selecting programs as well as an overview of different approaches used in Ohio:

Characteristics of Programs Serving EL Students in Ohio

Statewide Assessments

Assessment Information: Ohio Testing Resources

ELL Accommodations: Accommodations on State Assessments

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes

ESSA: Ohio ESSA State Plan

Statewide Organizations

Ohio Education Association

Ohio 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.

Ohio Federation of Teachers

AFT Ohio is the State Affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities

The Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities (OCECD) is a statewide nonprofit organization that serves families of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities in Ohio, educators and agencies who provide services to them.


Ohio TESOL supports Ohio teachers of English to speakers of other languages.

Ohio: Seal of Biliteracy

Ohio adopted the Seal of Biliteracy in 2017. 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.