COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 Resources

English Learners in the era of COVID-19

COVID-19 has created a new normal for students across the country, and English Learners (ELs) require innovative investments and support now more than ever. The following are preliminary recommendations for policymakers, community- and school-based leaders, and organizations focused on investments that will make a meaningful impact on the success of ELs in the months and years ahead. While not all ELs are Latino, more than 70 percent of ELs in Illinois are Latino Spanish speaking. Many Latinos begin their education as ELs.

The Facts

Findings From Latino Decisions Survey

Preliminary Recommendations to Accelerate EL Learning 


Partner with community organizations to provide the basic needs and wrap-around services to support vulnerable immigrant communities.


Develop plans for developmentally appropriate remote learning that is both digital, non-digital and responsive to language and cultural differences.


Prioritize family engagement and communication efforts—both virtually and in-person—in a way that is responsive to the unique needs of linguistically and culturally diverse communities. 

Extended Implementation Ideas

This document is a compilation of ideas and preliminary recommendations from education leaders, advocates, academics, and practitioners from across Illinois.

When English
Learners Succeed,
We All Succeed

A recent study from the University of Chicago shows that when English Learners (ELs) are given the proper resources, they excel and even outperform – their native English-speaking peers.

From higher attendance rates to better performance on 8th grade ELA PARCC Exams, research demonstrates a real value in expanding the way we track and define academic success. 

Now more than ever, new ways of tracking student progress are critical, and longitudinal data may provide a more accurate way to capture the academic success of ELs, and all students, as we embrace a new learning landscape.

Study of English Learners in Chicago Public Schools by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

Longitudinal data showing former ELs outperformed native-English speakers on the ELA PARCC Exam when tracked through 8th grade and provided necessary English language resources. 

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