English Learners

The Maine Department of Education is committed to meeting the needs of all learners, as outlined in our strategic plan. In support of that plan, the Maine ESL/Bilingual Programs work with School Administrative Unit (SAU) administrators and teachers of English Learners (EL) to identify and support the acquisition of English proficiency for ELs in grades PreK - 12.

All ELs are to attain English language proficiency and meet the same academic content and academic achievement standards that all students are expected to meet.  In order to achieve these goals, an SAU’s English Language Acquisition Program strives to ensure that:

  1. ELs are identified through the Language Use Survey and administration of an English language proficiency screener. See Administrative Letter 11 for required screeners depending on grade level;
  2. The annual ACCESS for ELLs  2.0 assessment is administered to all identified ELs;
  3. All ELs receive full and appropriate opportunities to meet the same challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards that all students are expected to meet;
  4. Programs are designed to help ELs acquire English language proficiency and overcome lack of educational access in their native countries, educational disruption, cultural and language barriers, social isolation, and to prepare ELs to make a successful transition to post-secondary education or employment; and
  5. All ELs benefit from State and local systemic reforms.


April Perkins
Director of ESOL/Bilingual Programs & Title III