Office of Multilingual Placement


    New York State ELL/MLL Identification Process


    In New York State, all newly enrolled students and students re-enrolling after two years are required to complete a Home Language Questionnaire (HLQ). The HLQ must be conducted at the time of enrollment. Through this survey, along with an informal interview, a qualified teacher or other professional staff member will get to know what languages are used in the home.


    If the survey and the interview indicate that a language other than English is used in the home, the student must take an English language proficiency test called the New York State Identification Test for English Language Learners (NYSITELL). The NYSITELL results are then used to assess the student’s English language level (Entering, Emerging, Transitioning, Expanding, and Commanding). If the student’s scores at Entering (Beginning), Emerging (Low Intermediate), Transitioning (Intermediate), or Expanding (Advanced), he or she is identified as an ELL. ELLs are entitled to receive Bilingual Education (BE) or English as a New Language (ENL) services.


    If a student scores at the Commanding (Proficient) level he or she is not identified as an ELL. The NYSITELL results help teachers better prepare and serve their students. Teachers use this information to identify a student’s English language strengths and needs in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. These results also guide the school in programming the minimum number of minutes of English as a New Language (ENL) instruction per week for the student. The process of identification must be conducted prior to the beginning of the school year or no later than within the first ten days of a student’s enrollment.




    Multilingual families who are in need of support during the school year are always invited to visit one of the Cultural Resource Specialists (listed on the hotline flyer below) between 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. weekdays at the Central Registration Welcome Center or call them.  Families' calls will be returned within 24 hours.


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