Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

English language learners

Question:
Do you have information on English language learners?

Response:

English language learner (ELL) refers to students being served in appropriate programs of language assistance (e.g., English as a Second Language, High Intensity Language Training, bilingual education). The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners was higher in 2010-11 (10 percent, or an estimated 4.7 million students) than in 2002-03 (9 percent, or an estimated 4.1 million students).

In 2010-11, states in the West had the highest percentages of ELL students in their public schools. In 8 states, 10 percent or more of public school students were English language learners—Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, and California (California data were imputed from 2009-10 data)—with ELL students constituting 29 percent of public school enrollment in California. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia had percentages of ELL public school enrollment between 6 and 9.9 percent. In addition to the District of Columbia, these states were Oklahoma, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Utah, New York, Kansas, Illinois, Washington, and Florida. The percentage of ELL students in public schools was less than 3 percent in 13 states; this percentage was between 3 and 5.9 percent in 16 states. The percentage of ELL students in public schools was higher in 2010-11 than in 2009-10 in just over half of the states (28 states), with the largest increase in percentage points occurring in Nevada (3 percentage points) and the largest decrease in percentage points occurring in Minnesota (2 percentage points).

In 2011 and in all previous assessment years since 2002, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading scale scores for non-ELL 4th- and 8th-graders were higher than their ELL peers’ scores. This disparity is known as an achievement gap—in NAEP reading scores, the achievement gap is seen by the differences between the average scores of two student subgroups on the standardized assessment.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). The Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013-037), English Language Learners.

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

Other Resources:  (Listed by Release Date)


Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.
National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education