English Learner Program

Students with limited English language proficiency require support and targeted instruction. The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (Department) provides these students with supplementary instructional activities and supports.

The Department’s English Learner (EL) Program ensures that students with limited English proficiency have: (1) access to educational opportunities by providing services to assist with the attainment of English language proficiency, (2) develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and (3) meet the same challenging state academic content and student achievement standards all students are expected to meet. Services for EL Program students include dedicated English Language Development (ELD) instruction, sheltered instruction throughout the curriculum, as well as acculturation activities.

The EL Program supports the Department’s mission to provide standards-based education through supplementary instructional and acculturation activities. Services provided through the EL Program implement the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) and its regulations, and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974. With regard to students with limited English proficiency, Title VI and its regulations require that students are able to meaningfully participate in and benefit from regular or special education instructional programs. Services for EL Program students and Immigrant Children and Youth also implement the requirements of Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Title III). Title III requires EL Program students attain English proficiency and meet the same challenging academic standards that all students are expected to meet. For details regarding the rights of parent(s)/legal guardian(s) of a student in the EL program, see our Parent/Guardian EL Program Rights Fact Sheet.

For additional information, please visit the Department’s EL Program Google Site.

Department employees may log in to the Sharepoint Website to access the Office of Student Support Services (OSSS) EL Program page and the HIDOE EL/Title III Internal Google Site.

These documents and policies guide EL Program implementation and instruction:

  • Hawai‘i State EL Guidance Manual (VIEW)

  • Department EL Board Policy (VIEW)

  • Multilingualism for Equitable Education Board Policy (VIEW)

  • Hawai‘i Common Core Standards (VIEW)

  • WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework (VIEW)

    • The adoption of the WIDA ELD Standards by the Department was approved by the Hawai‘i State Board of Education on May 21, 2009. The WIDA ELD Standards help to guide ELD and instruction for ELs, and serve as the basis for the summative annual English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessment to determine whether a student is making progress or has achieved sufficient proficiency to exit the EL Program.

  • WIDA Screener (VIEW)

    • The WIDA Screener is an ELP assessment given to incoming students in grades K–12 to assist educators with the identification of students as ELs. The purpose of this assessment is to help educators make decisions about whether a student is a candidate for English language support services. The WIDA Screener assesses the four (4) language domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

  • ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) (VIEW)

    • EL Program students are annually tested using the Department-adopted WIDA English language proficiency assessment, the ACCESS for ELLs. The ACCESS for ELLs test is used to determine a student’s language progress and proficiency in developing English and is also used for accountability purposes.

  • ​​Alternate ACCESS for ELLs (VIEW)

    • An assessment of ELP for students in grades 1 -12 who are classified as ELs and have significant cognitive disabilities that prevent their meaningful participation in the ACCESS for ELLs assessment.​

  • EL Infographic (VIEW)

    • A summary of demographics and achievements of ELs.

  • Hawai‘i's English Learners’ Data Story (VIEW)

    • Learn more about the education outcomes of Hawai‘i public school students who are identified as ELs in this Data Story released by Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships in Education, October 2021.

Contact Information

Student Support Section

Phone: 808-305-9717

Email: osssel@k12.hi.us


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