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Related Indicators:

  • Students who are English Language Learners-PreK-12 [view data]

Life Area:

Education

Definition:

Students who are English Language Learners (ELL) are students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 who come from a home where a language other than English is spoken and score at or below the 40th percentile on an English language assessment instrument.

Counts of ELL students include public and non-public students. The percentage of ELL students is determined by dividing the number of ELL students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 by the total enrollment of students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 and multiplying by 100.

Significance:

Limited proficiency in English may hinder children’s abilities to benefit from their educational experience and achieve high standards. Identified students are entitled to special instruction and assessment services to assist them in learning English and achieving objectives in other academic areas.

These services are of two general types:

  • Bilingual Education Programs implemented in school districts that have an enrollment of 20 or more ELL students of the same grade level assigned to the same building and all of whom have the same native language, which is other than English; and
  • Free Standing English as a Second Language implemented in school districts that have fewer than 20 ELL pupils at the same grade level assigned to a building who speak the same language other than English.

Findings:

  • Over 160 languages are spoken by ELL students in New York State schools. Five languages account for the majority of LEP students. Those languages are Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Bengali, and Haitian-Creole.
  • The percentage of ELL students in New York State increased one percentage point from 2011/12 to 2016/17 (7.9% to 8.9%).
  • English Language Learner students are concentrated in New York City. In 2016/17, New York City public, nonpublic and Charter schools enrolled 62% of all identified ELL students in New York State.
  • The percentage of ELL students in New York City decreased from 2011/12 (14.6%) to 2016/17 (14.1%).
  • For the rest of the state, the percentage of ELL students increased from 2011/12 (4.0%) to 2016/17 (5.5%).

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