A part of the Enough is Known for Action Series, this technical assistance document focused on English Language Learners is part of a series of resources the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education (Departments) developed to provide strategies and examples of State and local partnerships that facilitate the reengagement of out-of-school youth. More information can be found Enough is Known for Action Webinar Series - Helping Youth Succeed.
The approximately 4.4 million English Language learners (ELLs) attending school in the United States (U.S.) have certain unique academic, linguistic, and socio-emotional needs, distinct from the broader youth population. Historically, ELLs have faced challenges in achieving academic success comparable to their non-ELL peers, scoring lower on 4th- and 8th-grade reading assessments compared to their non-ELL peers. The ELL achievement gap is particularly problematic because these students have unique potential to increase linguistic diversity in today’s global economy. In order to close the achievement gap and ensure ELLs have ample career opportunities, it is crucial that these youth have access to a wide variety of resources. Education and workforce development system staff can help connect ELL youth to appropriate education, training, and employment services, and set them on the path to educational and professional success, by implementing the practices similar to those outlined in this document. It is clear that the field is in need of more research on how practitioners can meet the needs of ELLs and close the achievement gap.