The #1 Curriculum and Assessment Partner for Educators

Learn More About Our:

California Educators’ Guide to Supporting English Language Learners

California Educators’ Guide to Supporting English Language Learners

According to the California Department of Education, English language learners (ELLs) make up 19.3 percent of California’s public school enrollment—the largest concentration of ELL students in any U.S. state. In many urban California areas, the number of ELL students as a percentage of total enrollment is even larger. To address the needs of this growing segment of the student population, educators are working harder than ever to refine administrative and instructional practices to help students master both English and their state’s rigorous academic standards.

To support you in your efforts, we’ve assembled a curated list of our top resources focused on helping ELLs achieve success in the classroom.

Build Strong Instructional Programs

According to EdSource, in 2017 only 12 percent of English learners met or exceeded math standards on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, compared with 43 percent of non-ELL students. In 2018, 49.88 percent of all California public school students met or exceeded standards in English language arts/literacy, while only 12.62 of ELL students scored at or above proficient. The achievement gap between ELL and non-ELL students is even greater in some major cities; according to The 74, “less than 4 percent of L.A. Unified’s English learners scored proficient in reading and less than 6 percent did so in math” every year from 2016-2018.

Clearly, ELLs are not achieving at the same levels as their English proficient peers, which is not surprising as they face additional barriers to grasping academic concepts. One of the most efficient ways to support ELLs is to ensure that your school or district implements pedagogical approaches that accommodate a variety of educational needs. Utilize these planning guides to create or refine your instructional programs to support an environment in which ELLs and all students will thrive.

Special Populations Worksheet

Use this worksheet to plan programs to address the needs of special populations of students, including ELLs.

A Guide to Engaging Your ELL Parents

It's not uncommon for parents of ELL students to feel intimidated or discouraged from becoming actively engaged with their children's education due to language barriers or other cultural differences. We gathered several resources to help you find ways to encourage your ELL parents to engage more.

Personalized Learning How-To Guide

Personalized learning allows educators to meet the varying needs of students, improving learning outcomes for all. This workbook takes the guesswork out of personalized learning by providing a step-by-step plan from development to implementation.

Reading and Literacy Workbook

It’s a well-known fact that a strong foundation in literacy is key to future academic success for all student populations. This workbook evaluates the many facets of structuring an effective, research-based reading and language arts block and helps you select the appropriate technology tools to support your approach.

Credit Recovery Workbook

According to the California Department of Education, in 2018, 67.9 percent of ELLs graduated high school, which is nearly 16 percentage points below the 83 percent graduation rate for all California students. Because of the additional obstacles ELLs face, they often fall behind, so it’s important to have a credit recovery program in place to help students catch up and get on track to graduation. Edmentum’s credit recovery workbook will show you how to set up a new program or enhance your current credit recovery offering.

Implement Classroom Strategies That Support Language Development and Academic Achievement

Breakthroughs in student learning happen in the classroom, and as you work toward closing the achievement gap between ELLs and non-ELLs through more inclusive and accessible instructional practices, we hope you will find the resources below helpful.

Looking for an online learning partner to help support your English language learners? Learn more about how Edmentum’s WIDA™ Prime V2™ Correlated programs drive success for ELLs.'s picture

Carmen Palmer lives in the Minneapolis area and serves as a Marketing Manager on the Edmentum team. She graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida with a degree in creative writing and literature. Carmen loves to read and is passionate about literacy and education.

Subscribe via Posts

Get bright ideas from tech savvy educators delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe today.

Bright ideas for tech-savvy educators, right to your inbox