Below are some shocking stats on what it’s like to be an English Language Learner (ELL) in the US today. Despite the growing number of ELL students, the gap between English language learners and their peers has widened in recent years, consider the numbers below:
ELLs by the Numbers
According to the National Education Association, English Language Learners (ELLs) are the fastest-growing student population group in the US today. By 2025, one in four K-12 students will be English Language Learners.
More than one million ELL students have enrolled in public K-12 schools since 2000 and in the past few years, 43 out of 50 states saw a significant increase in ELL enrollment. Texas alone saw 350,000 new ELL students enroll in public schools.
Where They’re Located
There are English Language Learning students in all 50 states, but the highest concentration
is in California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, New York, and Illinois, especially near urban centers. Statistically, ELLs are more common in urban school districts, but recently, there’s been a surge in rural and suburban districts as well. The number of ELLs is especially increasing in public schools, which may not have the specialized support or financial resources of private schools.
Of the English Language Learners entering US schools, 85% speak one of the eight most common native languages — Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Somali, Russian, or Haitian. They often live far away from native speakers, making it harder for EL students to connect with their peers or adult mentors.
In 2016, an NYU study found that there were over 4.6 million ELL students in the United States, but only 78,000 educators that specialized in English Language instruction. Today, this gap is even wider due to an increasing ELL population and a national teacher shortage accelerated by the pandemic.
In October of 2021, “there were 575,000 fewer local and state education employees” than in 2020, creating a growing need for English language support outside of the classroom.
Why it Matters
English Language Learning students are likely to show a high interest in education and possess strong academic and literacy skills in their native language. However, they can’t struggle in a non-native school system without support.
They may lack access to language instruction and have more at-home responsibilities than their peers, like caring for their siblings or translating for their family members. To help support these students, school districts are partnering with tutoring programs that offer targeted English Language instruction and assessment.
Intervene K-12: Specialized ELL Tutoring Services
Intervene K-12 combines expertise in academic assessment and data analytics to offer small group tutoring for English Language Learners (ELLs). Instruction is delivered via high-impact online tutoring that supports beginner, intermediate, and advanced language learners with personalized instruction. We use personalized assessments and the National Standards for English Language Proficiency to measure and monitor student academic progress.
Learn More here.