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