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Multilingual Learners (MLLs) / 

English Learners (ELs)

Students identified as multilingual learners require assistance with language acquisition (though more than 40 percent of identified MLLs are born in the United States). Some MLLs may need help integrating into U.S. culture. All immigrants are not necessarily ELs, as some are fluent in English, while others speak little or no English.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. (2016). Newcomer Tool Kit.  Washington, DC: Author.

MLL / EL Programs

English Learner Programs

English Learner Programs (EL Programs) in Rhode Island can vary depending on the language distribution, the goal of the program, the grades it serves, among other things.

Los programas de Rhode Island para Estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés 

Programas ELL, (por su sigla en inglés) pueden variar dependiendo, entre otras cosas, de la distribución de los idiomas, de la meta del programa y de los grados a los cuales están dirigidos. 

Program Models

District EL Program Description Worksheet [DOC, 75KB]: This document serves as a worksheet to determine the particular English Instructional Program model(s) employed in your district/school and to ensure that the program model(s) are comprehensively designed and implemented with respect to current research.  Any given district may have more than one model in place, so it may be necessary to evaluate programs by school.

Collaborative ENL and General Education 5-Module Online Course

The Collaborative ENL and General Education 5-module online course is available here:

MLL / EL Ambassadors

Ambassadors selected to support education for English Language Learners in Rhode Island 

We are excited to welcome five English Language Learners (ELL) Ambassadors who will collaborate with RIDE in expanding support and developing toolkits and practices for multilingual students, families, and LEAs across the state according to the goals and initiatives established by the community-based team who wrote the 2020 Vision for Education: Rhode Island's Strategic Plan for PK-12 & Adult Education

The 2019 EL Ambassadors are all dedicated professionals with diverse backgrounds who work with students and educators in their roles as principals, teachers, and college professors whose expertise will greatly enhance this work.

  • Amy Correia – Lecturer and Team Leader: Master’s in TESOL and Bilingual and Dual Language Immersion (BDL) College of Education and Professional Studies: School of Education, University of Rhode Island. Ms. Correia’s expertise will support district administrators in the review of instructional practices, policies, laws and procedures, coaching, and evaluations of programs and requirements related to EL education in Rhode Island.
  • Rebeca Filomeno-Nason – Assistant Principal, Del Sesto Middle School, Providence Public Schools, co-founder of the Rhode Island Coalition for Educators of Color. Ms. Filomeno-Nason’s expertise is essential to the project’s focus on data inquiry and the use of data to inform instructional practices, program evaluations, and systems of supports for ELs.
  • Rabia Hos – Assistant Professor of TESOL/Bilingual and Dual Language Education, College of Education and Professional Studies: School of Education, University of Rhode Island. Dr. Hos will lead an initiative focused on newcomer students, specifically SLIFE, to develop a toolkit that includes guidance and various resources for school districts, administrators, and teachers.
  • Ying Hui-Michael – Chair of Special Education, Director of Urban/Multilingual M.ED program, Professor, Rhode Island College. Dr. Hui-Michael’s expertise will support the project’s focus on alignment to “rigorous world-class standards,” culturally and linguistically responsive RTI, and special education identification of ELs.
  • Francisca Silvia Lima – Dual Language Portuguese/English 3rd grade teacher at the International Charter School. Ms. Silvia Lima will lead a dive into classroom practices integrating SEL learning in the curriculum and enhancing inquiry based lessons using Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) strategies and Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) strategies.

Application Cohort 2019

MLL / EL Toolkit

Introduction and Scope of the Toolkit

This toolkit illustrates highlights of the Federal Guidance provided by the Department of Education, in addition to the administration of the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act, also known as Title III, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) (Title III).

The scope of the toolkit is to guide school districts, professionals, parents, and all stakeholders in the state of Rhode Island to meet their obligations to ensure that English Learner students can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs and services.

The information contained in this toolkit is published with the intent to support implementation of English Language services, they are in no way exhaustive and are meant to expand the support network provided by the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) may choose to use some of the forms and templates provided if so they desire, or create local forms that better mirror their districts’ needs.

Main sources for this toolkit are:

The forms and templates included in this toolkit are reproduced with the authorization of the U.S. Department of Education.

For clarification purposes, in this toolkit, the term 'parents' refers also to any family member or guardian.

Dual Language Education

Dual Language Programs (or Two Way Immersion) are programs in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages

The Rhode Island Department of Education recognizes that speaking, reading, writing, and understanding multiple languages are important 21st century skills for an increasingly global society. The benefits of knowing two languages are many and carry with them educational, economic, cognitive, and socio-cultural advantages. Proficiency in multiple languages permits individuals to expand their world because it permits them to communicate with members of other cultural groups.

Currently in Rhode Island, there are six dual language programs: French-American School of Rhode Island (Providence) , International Charter School (Pawtucket), Leviton Dual Language School (Providence), Veterans Memorial Elementary School (Central Falls), Peacedale Elementary School and West Kingston Elementary School (South Kingstown), and Nathanial Greene Elementary School (Pawtucket).

Los Programas de los Idiomas, o "De Doble Inmersión", son los que se alfabetiza y enseña contenido en dos idiomas.

El Departamento de Educación de Rhode Island reconoce que hablar, leer, escribir y entender varios idiomas son destrezas importantes en el siglo 21, en una sociedad cada vez más globalizada. Los beneficios de saber dos idiomas son muchos y conllevan ventajas educativas, económicas, cognitivas y socioculturales. Dominar varios idiomas permite a la persona expandir su mundo porque le posibilita comunicarse con miembros de otros grupos culturales.

En la actualidad hay cuatro programas de dos idiomas en Rhode Island: French-American School of Rhode Island en Providence, International Charter School en Pawtucket, Leviton Dual Language School en Providence y Veterans Memorial Elementary School en Central Falls, Peacedale Elementary School y West Kingston Elementary School en South Kingstown, y Nathanial Greene Elementary School en Pawtucket.

  • Dual Language Program Standards
  • Seal of Biliteracy

    The Seal of Biliteracy celebrates students who have multilingual competence – a critical skill in today’s global society and an asset that will prepare RI graduates for success in the local and global economy. The Seal of Biliteracy certifies that a student has demonstrated skills in the English language and one or more other world languages.  Students earn a Seal of Biliteracy by demonstrating competence in English Language Arts standards as defined by the Commissioner Seal or English Proficiency standards, and nationally-recognized world language standards Seal of Biliteracy Council Designations will be awarded beginning with the graduating class of 2021.  

  • DL Schools in RI

EL Advisory Council


The Rhode Island MLL/EL Advisory Council is an active group of stakeholders who provide a voice for all Multilingual students to advise the Commissioner of Education at the Rhode Island Department of Education on all things related to the education of this important and unique group of students. Our goal is to ensure that MLL/ELs receive superior educational services enabling each learner to achieve optimum success throughout their school careers and to be college and career ready following graduation from Rhode Island schools.

Meeting Dates

All meetings begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. (6:00-6:30 sign-in) and will adjourn at 8:00 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. 

  • September 23, 2019

  • December 2, 2019

  • March 2, 2020

  • May 4, 2020

Meeting Locations

Providence College - Room to be determined 

Additional Information

MLL/EL State Advisory Council Executive Committee

  • Leila Rosa, Chair
  • Rania Aghia, Vice Chair, K-12
  • Rabia Hos, Vice Chair, Higher Ed.
  • Nancy Cloud, Membership Secretary
  • Sarah Hesson, Recording Secretary

Council Members

Professional Development

Professional Development

  • WIDA Workshops Calendar - Offerings 2019/2020: These workshops are sponsored by RIDE to support all educators working with Multilingual learners (MLLs). New eLearning offerings are available to an unlimited number of RI educators and administrators. These training sessions also meet the requirements for MLLs PD for all teachers contained in R.I.G.L. 16-54-2 sec. L-4-12. State-offered professional development workshops are free of charge to all public school employees.
  • MLL/EL Directors and Coordinators Meetings 2019/2020: This support is designed to build the capacity of Multilingual Learners / English Learners teachers, and administrators to improve the achievement of MLL/EL. These training sessions also meet the requirements for MLL/EL PD for all teachers contained in R.I.G.L. 16-54-2 sec. L-4-12.
  • WIDA Professional Development for RI Educators Working with Multilingual Students October 15-18, 2019: WIDA offered scholarships to Rhode Island educators that will cover the cost of the WIDA Annual Conference from October 15-18, 2019 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI. The Theme for this year's Annual Conference is Teaching for Equity in a Multilingual Worlds.

WIDA Consortium

World Class Instruction Design and Assessment (WIDA) Consortium

WIDA is a mission-driven, state university-based organization.  Its mission is to advance academic language development and academic achievement for children and youth who are culturally and linguistically diverse through high quality standards, assessments, research, and professional learning for educators. 

ACCESS® for ELLs 2.0

Rhode Island requires that the English language proficiency (ELP) of all English language learners (ELs) be measured annually with the ACCESS for ELs.

Rhode Island utilizes the ACCESS for ELs to annually measure the English language proficiency (ELP) of ELLs across the state. Districts utilize the WIDA SCREENER to screen the English language proficiency of newly enrolling students identified as potential ELLs. This screening tool is aligned to the WIDA Summative ELP Standards and the ACCESS for ELs. It produces a proficiency score that helps schools provide ELL students with the most appropriate instruction for their English proficiency level. 

Regulations and Guidance

Regulations and Guidance

Identification Procedures

Resources for Families

RIDE aims to support schools and families working together to achieve greater outcomes for their English Learners (EL).

Here we have included resources for both families and educators to use to guide their path to improving outcomes for ELs in Rhode Island. Feel free to ask your child’s school parent or family engagement coordinator for more information about working together to help your child(ren) succeed!

El Departamento de Educatión de Rhode Island busca apoyar escuelas y familias que colaboren entre sí para lograr mejores resultados para los estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés (English Language Learner o EL).

Aquí hemos incluido recursos tanto para familias como para educadores, que pueden guiarles a mejorar los resultados para los estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés en Rhode Island. No dude en pedirle al coordinador de participación parental o familiar de la escuela que le dé más información sobre cómo colaborar para ayudar a sus niños a triunfar.

Resources for Families

Working with Educators

Educational Bilingual Sites / Sitios educativos bilingües

Resources for Educators and Administrators

As administrators, principals, teachers, or second-shift educators, we have the onus to reach out to families of all backgrounds. We have listed a few websites as stepping points to creating partnerships with families in our schools. 

Como administradores, directores, profesores, o educadores de segundo turno, tenemos la responsibilidad a comunicar con nuestras familias de cualquier experiencia. Tenemos una lista de algunas paginas de web para soportarte en crear asociaciones con familias en nuestras escuelas.

Establishing a Welcoming Environment

ELL Curriculum & Instruction Resources

Educational Services for Immigrant Children and Those Recently Arrived to the U.S.

Professional Associations for Educators

Organizations as Resources to ELLs and Diverse Learners

Data and Statistics on ELs

Information and Research on ELLs

  • IRIS Center Diversity Tools - The IRIS Center has several modules, activities, infobriefs, and case studies on Diversity including topics such as Culture, ELLs, and Disproportionality. In the Resource Locator Tool found here choose Diversity from the menu and click "all materials" for a full listing of available items. Be sure to explore other topics, such as behavior, where some modules are available in Spanish.
  • Search Institute's 40 developmental assets describes positive experiences and personal qualities that young people need to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

Translation and Interpretation Services

Translation and Interpretation Services

This section provides information on requesting outside agencies to help fulfill the translation and interpretation needs a school district may not otherwise be able to.

This facilitates communication with non-English speaking or limited English proficiency families in our schools. Here is a brief overview of the services available to your district:

  • Translation: This is primarily for written communications. Common uses might include report cards, information about ELL instruction, announcements of school events, and other communications sent home to families.
  • On-site interpretation: This form of interpretation can be used for meetings concerning parents such as parent teacher conferences, school events, and parent teacher organizations.
  • Phone interpretation: Phone interpretation can be used for calls home concerning the student or meetings that otherwise cannot be completed at the school site.
  • Video remote interpretation: Video remote interpretation is interpretation through web cameras or video phones. This is especially useful if sign language is required.

The cost of translation and interpretation services vary by several factors:

  1. Duration of appointment
  2. Languages in which services are provided
  3. Due date and timeliness of request
  4. Technicality of document content

Outside agencies are used to help meet translation and interpretation needs not met by district resources. They are able to provide language expertise through various formats that may not otherwise be available.


  • On site interpretation: $45-$165 per hour (Some agencies charge for travel time - be sure to inquire about different policies when requesting a service).
  • Phone interpretation: $0.85-$2/minute with the Center for Southeast Asians asking for $20 per phone call
  • Translation (written): $0.13-$0.35/word with the Center for Southeast Asians asking for $0.50-$0.60/page
  • Video Remote Interpretation: $2-$6.99/minute

For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The Rhode Island Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing provides interpretation services rates vary depending on the years of experience as well as the conditions the interpreter is called under (emergency, deaf-blind) as well as the travel time.

  • Rates for ASL Interpretation
  • On site interpretation: $45-$125 per hour
  • Video Remote Interpretation: $3-$6.99 per minute


Please note that Title I or other supplemental funds may be used for interpretation/translation services that extend above and beyond these basic service needs.

Servicios Externos de Traducción e  Interpretación

Esta página web brinda información para solicitar servicios externos de traducción e  interpretación cuando el distrito escolar no puede llenar esas necesidades.

Esto facilita la comunicación con familias en nuestras escuelas que no hablan inglés o lo dominan poco. Aquí proporcionamos una breve perspectiva general de los servicios disponibles en su distrito:

  • Servicio de traducción: Se usa para comunicaciones escritas, comúnmente boletas de calificaciones e información sobre la enseñanza de estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés.
  • Servicio de interpretación en persona: Esta forma de interpretación puede utilizarse en reuniones de padres y maestros, eventos escolares, y organizaciones de padres y maestros.
  • Servicio de interpretación por teléfono: La interpretación por teléfono puede usarse para llamadas a casa relacionadas con el estudiante o para reuniones que no se pueden efectuar en la escuela.
  • Servicio de interpretación por videoconferencia: La interpretación por videoconferencia se realiza mediante cámaras web o videófonos, y es particularmente útil para lengua de señas, si se requiere. 

El costo de los servicios externos de traducción e interpretación depende de varios factores:

  1. La duración de la cita.
  2. El idioma a traducirse o interpretarse.
  3. La fecha de entrega o provisión, y la puntualidad.<
  4. El tecnicismo del contenido a traducirse o interpretarse.

Se utilizan servicios externos de traducción o interpretación cuando el distrito no tiene los recursos para llenar esas necesidades. Los servicios externos ofrecen su pericia en el campo de los idiomas mediante varios formatos que, de no ser por estos servicios, no estarían disponibles.


  • Interpretación en persona: de $45 a $165 por hora (algunas veces incluye un cargo por tiempo de traslado, así que asegúrese de averiguar cuáles son las distintas políticas de precio cuando solicite un servicio). 
  • Interpretación por teléfono: de $0.85 a $2 por minuto; el centro para sudasiáticos, Center for Southeast Asians, cobra $20 por llamada telefónica.
  • Traducción: de $0.13 a $0.35 por palabra; el Center for Southeast Asians cobra entre $0.50 y $0.60 por página.
  • Interpretación por videoconferencia: de $2 a $6.99 por minuto.

Para personas con sordera total o parcial

La comisión de Rhode Island para sordos e hipoacúsicos, RI Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, ofrece servicios de interpretación a precios que varían según los años de experiencia del intérprete y las condiciones en las que debe interpretar (situaciones de emergencia, interpretación para personas sordas y ciegas, etc.), así como el tiempo de traslado. 

Precios de interpretación de lengua de señas americana 

  • Interpretación en persona: de $45 a $125 por hora.
  • Interpretación por videoconferencia: de $3 a $6.99 por minuto.


Por favor, tenga presente que los fondos bajo el programa Título I o otros fondos suplementarios se pueden utilizar para servicios de traducción o interpretación que excedan estas necesidades básicas de servicios.

Credential Evaluations Resources

Foreign Transcript Review Guide

The Foreign Transcript Review Guide is intended as a reference tool for districts to assist school staff members with evaluating foreign transcripts for students newly enrolling from other countries.

It was adapted from guidance produced by the Office of Youth Development and School-Community Services (OYDSCS) of the New York City Department of Education (DOE).

World Education Services

A credential evaluation is a comparison of your academic accomplishments to standards in the U.S. or Canada. This report helps institutions like schools, employers, licensing boards, or immigration authorities better understand your educational background. 

A report from World Education Services (WES):

  • Identifies and describes your credentials
  • Verifies that your credentials are authentic
  • May include a grade point average (GPA) equivalency
  • Includes an evaluation of the authenticity of your documents

Foreign Credits – Credential Evaluation

Foreign Credits, Inc. is a U.S. based company that provides services in the areas of international verification, credential evaluation, and translation.



Individuals who, on their own, travel to the United States and subsequently apply for or receive a grant of asylum. Asylees do not enter the United States as refugees. They may enter as students, tourists, or businessmen, or with “undocumented” status (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.a).

Dual Language Learners

The Head Start Act uses the term “limited English proficient” and defines the population broadly to encompass a wide range of children, including those exposed to a language other than English, those whose native language is not English, and those with limited skills in English. Specifically, section 637 of the law defines the child who is limited English proficient as one:
(A) (i) who was not born& in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English
(ii) (I) who is a Native American (as defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7801)), an Alaska Native, or a native resident of an outlying area (as defined in such section 9101); and
(II) who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the child’s level of English language proficiency; or
(iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and
(B) whose difficulties in speaking or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny such child —
(i) the ability to successfully achieve in a classroom in which the language of instruction is English; or
(ii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.

English Learners with Disabilities

The phrase “English learners with disabilities” refers to English learners who are also “children with disabilities” under the IDEA, as defined in Section 602(3) of that Act and 34 CFR §300.8 .   (ESEA Section 3201(4))

Foreign Born

People who are not U.S. citizens at birth (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.). Title IX - SEC. 901. GENERAL PROVISIONS. SEC. 9101. “(25)

Limited English Proficient

The term limited English proficient', when used with respect to an individual, means an individual:
(A) who is aged 3 through 21;
(B) who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
(C) (i) who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;
(ii) (I) who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and
(II) who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or
(iii) who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and
(D) whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual —
(i) the ability to meet the State's proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);
(ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
(iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.

Long-term English Learner

The ESEA does not define “long-term English learner.”  However, the reporting requirement under ESEA Section 3121(a)(6) may be instructive in determining which ELs served under Title III are long-term ELs. […] Reporting requirement in ESEA Section 3121(a)(6), States and LEAs may consider ELs who have not attained English language proficiency after five years as long-term ELs .

Multilingual learners (MLLs)

Refers to all children and youth who are, or have been, consistently exposed to multiple languages. It includes students known as English language learners (ELLs) or dual language learners (DLLs); heritage language learners; and students who speak varieties of English or indigenous languages. (WIDA Guiding Principles 2019)

New American

An all-encompassing term that includes foreign-born individuals (and their children and families) who seek to become fully integrated into their new community in the United States (White House Task Force on New Americans, 2015).


This is an umbrella term that includes various categories of immigrants who are born outside of the United States and have recently arrived in the United States.


A refugee is a person who has fled his or her country of origin because of past persecution or a fear of future persecution based upon race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2015).

Student with Interrupted (or Limited) Formal Education (SIFE / SLIFE)

Students in grades four through 12 who have experienced disruptions in their educations in their native countries and/or the United States, and/or are unfamiliar with the culture of schooling (Calderón, 2008). Students who have recently immigrated to the United States who may have had little or interrupted formal education.

Unaccompanied Youth Children

Children who come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian (U.S. Department of Health an Human Services, n.d.b.).

“Education should work to transform the quality of each person’s life, the environment, the community, the whole society.”

 – Paulo Freire

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