Iowa: ELL Resources

As of the 2012-13 school year, Iowa's schools were home to more than 23,500 English language learners (ELLs), which marks a 71% increase from the 2002-2003 school year (Migration Policy Institute, 2015). Currently, the most common languages spoken by ELLs in Iowa are Spanish, Vietnamese,  Bosnian, and Karen.

State ELL Resources

State Agency: Iowa Department of Education

ELL Website: English Language Learners

ELL Manual: Educating Iowa's English Language Learners: A Handbook for Administrators and Teachers

ELP Standards

ELP Standards: ELPA21

Statewide Standards-Based Assessment

Assessment: Iowa Assessments

Additional Information

NCELA: Title III Information

Common Core State Standards: Yes


Statewide Organizations

Iowa State Education Association

Iowa State Education Association is a National Education Association State Affiliate that regularly lobbies legislators for the resources schools need, campaigns for higher professional standards for the teaching profession, and files legal actions to protect academic freedom and the rights of school employees.

Iowa State Parent Information Resource Centers

The mission of the Iowa Statewide PIRC is to inspire, engage and support parents, schools and communities to improve learning and developmental outcomes for children and youth.

Mid-America TESOL

MIDTESOL serves mid-America teachers of English from Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri to speakers of other languages.

Iowa: Seal of Biliteracy

The Seal of Biliteracy is currently under consideration in Iowa. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.



Ruiz Soto, Ariel G., Sarah Hooker, and Jeanne Batalova. 2015. States and Districts with the Highest Number and Share of English Language Learners. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Ruiz Soto, Ariel G., Sarah Hooker, and Jeanne Batalova. 2015. Top Languages Spoken by English Language Learners Nationally and by State. Washington, DC: Migration Policy Institute.

Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students. Iowa Rate of EL Growth (1997/98-2007/08). Compiled July 2010 and retrieved from