As of the 2016-2017 school year, Pennsylvania’s schools were home to more than 56,000 English language learners. As of the 2014-2015 school year, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Pennsylvania were Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Nepali, and Vietnamese. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)
Pennsylvania is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2006. 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: Pennsylvania Department of Education
ELL Website: English as a Second Language
Professional Learning and Instruction: ESL Portal PA
ELP Standards & Assessment
ELP Standards: WIDA English Language Proficiency Standards
ELP Assessment: WIDA-ACCESS for ELLs
Statewide Standards-Based Assessment
Assessment: Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA)
NCELA: Title III Information
WIDA: Statewide Contact Information
Common Core State Standards: Yes
ESSA: Pennsylvania ESSA State Plan
AFT Pennsylvania, the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, represents more than 36,000 members in 93 local affiliates throughout the Commonwealth, including teachers and school-related personnel, health care professionals, higher education faculty members and state employees.
Pennsylvania State Education Association
Pennsylvania State 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.
PEAL works with families, youth and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs to help them understand their rights and advocate for themselves.
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.
Three Rivers TESOL
Three Rivers Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages (Three Rivers TESOL) serves the Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia area and is an affiliate of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.
Pennsylvania: Seal of Biliteracy
Pennsylvania is in the early stages of the Seal of Biliteracy with a pilot program underway at the local level in Philadelphia. 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.