Effective Systems

Starting Early with English Language Learners, First Lessons from Illinois


This policy paper from the New America Foundation, Starting Early With English Language Learners, First Lessons from Illinois, focuses on Illinois’ approach to teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) which begins in PreKindergarten.

The policy recommendations include:

  • Ensuring that PreK providers and schools receive financial support from the state and their local districts for resources they spend on ELLs;
  • Ensuring an adequate bilingual education budget to cover all eligible children;
  • Tracking outcomes for ELL students over time and reserve funding for evaluative studies;
  • Aligning the ELL experience in PreK, Kindergarten and the early grades; and,
  • Enabling shared professional development opportunities in ELL instruction for teachers and school leaders across the PreK-3rd grade span.