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English Learners

Services and Programs for Multilingual Learners

Seattle Public Schools offers a variety of instructional programs and services to help students achieve academic excellence while still learning English.

English Learner (EL) services are provided at every school with eligible multilingual learner students.

Kids lining up on a playground to go in to class

Services that Support Multilingual Students

  • High quality, research-based EL program models at elementary and secondary schools that supports student language development and enables meaningful access to grade level curriculum and instruction
  • English language development instruction provided by certificated EL teachers and supported by Instructional Assistants
  • Support for migrant and refugee students
  • Support for students who have exited the EL program
  • Translation and interpretation support for multilingual students and families
  • World language credit and Seal of Biliteracy testing opportunities

Learn how students qualify for English Learner (EL) services.

Translation and Interpretation Services our district provides.

Program Models in Neighborhood Schools

Seattle Public Schools uses research-based, high quality instructional models. Program models differ by school.

Elementary Schools

  • Students are immersed into general education classes with native English speakers and receive support from EL staff. 
  • During a portion of the day, a certified EL teacher or instructional assistant will provide support.
  • EL teachers align their instruction with what is being taught in the general education classroom.

Middle & High Schools

  • Students are placed into sheltered language arts classes according to their level of proficiency in English. 
  • Students take mainstream courses which increase in language demand as they progress through levels of proficiency.

Contact us

Visit our Department Contacts page for staff contact information