Washington, D.C.: ELL Resources

Map of Washington, D.C.

As of the 2016-2017 school year, Washington’s schools were home to over 122,000 English language learners. In recent years, the most common five languages spoken by ELLs in Washington have been Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somali, and Chinese. (U.S. Dept. of Education, National Center for Education Statistics)

The District of Columbia is a member of WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment), joining in 2003. 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.

Note: For additional state-by-state data and information, see New America's English Learner Accountability Hub.

District ELL Resources

ELL Website: DC ELLs Program and Support

NCELA: Title III Information

WIDA: DC Contact Information

Seal of Biliteracy: Washington, D.C.: Seal of Biliteracy

Statewide Organizations

Washington D.C. Area TESOL

WATESOL is the Washington, D.C.-area association for teachers of English to speakers of other languages.

Advocates for Justice and Education, Inc.

Advocates for Justice and Education seeks to empower families, youth, and the community to be effective advocates to ensure that children and youth, particularly those who have special needs, receive access to appropriate education and health services.

The Refugee Experience Series

The Refugee Experience Series is a group of volunteers in the Washington, DC area dedicated to raising awareness of the refugee experience through films and discussions.

Washington Teachers' Union

The Washington Teachers' Union is the Washington, D.C.-based affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.

Note: Regulations change with time. These guidelines were compiled in January of 2012 and updated in May 2022. 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:


U.S. Department of Education. Our Nation’s English Learners. Most Common Non-English Languages Spoken by English Learners.