College of Education & Human Services

Lesson 1: English Language Learners...They're Everywhere!

Data from National Clearing House for English Language Acquisition

Using the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition website think about the following:

  • In 2001, more than seven million Latinos were enrolled in US public schools.
  • Approximately 131,000 students whose first language is Spanish are enrolled in Illinois public schools.
  • According to the US Census, 80.5% of Illinois ELLs speak Spanish.
  • The second most common home language in Illinois is Polish. (3.2%)
  • 60% of all public school educators nationwide currently lave at least one English Language Learner in their classroom.
  • Illinois experienced a 62.3% growth in the number of English Language learners from 1990-2000. This number is expected to be even higher with the next census.

Home Language Connection

girl readingAfrikaans to Yorubas

ELLs in Illinois speak over 139 languages other than English at home. It is required that all schools have a copy of the ISBE Home Language Survey in every student’s cumulative file

Regulations regarding the Home Language Survey can be found at:

The home language of each ELL must be documented in the State Information System. (SIS) The list of coded languages can be found at: under Data/Demographics/Statistics and listed as Public School Bilingual Census Language Code (Alphabetical Sort)

All students answering “yes” to either of the two questions in the Home Language Survey must be assessed with the W-APT. (See Module 3: The Identification and Assessment of English Language Learners in Illinois)