Multilingual Learners

The Maine Department of Education supports schools with resources, guidance, and professional learning regarding strategies for teaching and assessment, educational equity, state and federal policies, and many other related topics.

(Multilingual learners were formerly referred to as English learners. See Honoring and Celebrating All Languages Spoken By Maine Students With the Shift to Multilingual Learners Terminology.)

Multilingual learners are students with a primary or home language other than English who are in the process of acquiring English. They bring many valuable assets with them to school, and high-quality programs for multilingual learners leverage those assets through individualized supports and equitable academic opportunities. Students who are multilingual learners receive English language development services from teachers who specialize in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), as well as supports throughout their instructional day provided by all of their teachers.


ESOL Newsletter Sign Up Link

ESOL Listserv Sign up

ESOL Programs, Migrant Education, McKinney Vento Collaboration

ESOL Programs staff, McKinney Vento liaisons, and Migrant Education Program staff frequently collaborate to support students that qualify for their programs. Oftentimes, Multilingual Learners, Migratory children, and Students Experiencing Homelessness qualify for one, two, or all three of these programs. Therefore, in order to best identify and serve all children who may qualify for these services, the Maine Department of Education recommends these screener forms to be included as part of enrollment packets for every student, every year:

The Maine Department of Education appreciates all of the great work schools are doing to support these students. Please follow each program's policies and guidelines for the implementation of these forms and contact each program's corresponding administration for follow up and questions.

Maine is a member of the WIDA Consortium, and the foundation for Maine's ESOL programs is the WIDA English Language Development Standards

Together with the Maine School Boards Association, Maine School Superintendents Association, Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities, Maine Education Association, Maine Principals Association, and Maine Curriculum Leaders Association, the Maine Department of Education has shared a Joint Statement of Commitment and Support for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Maine Schools. The ESOL & Bilingual Programs team's work aligns with the commitments expressed in this statement.

Multilingual Learner Advisory Council

MLAC members provide advice to the Maine DOE on its activities and policies related to multilingual learner education.  

Multilingual Learners Contacts

Jane Armstrong
ESOL State Specialist

Jodi Bossio-Smith Assessments
Coordinator of Alternate & WIDA  Assessments