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Policy | EL roadmap

California English Learner Roadmap


California policy for English learners had not been updated in 19 years and reflected a deficit-based approach to educating its students. The California State Board of Education asked UL co-founder Kenji Hakuta to convene an EL Roadmap working group to create a new state policy to guide the field in the education of its multilingual learners.


UL members facilitated the convening of a EL Roadmap working group, composed of teachers, site, district and state leaders, policy makers, and multilingual learner advocacy group members. Our work was intended to guide all levels of the system towards a coherent and aligned set of practices, services, relationships, and approaches to teaching and learning that add up to a powerful, effective, 21st century education for our multilingual students.


In June, 2017, the California State Board of Education adopted a new policy for its English Learners, the California English Learner Roadmap: Educational Programs and Services for English Learners.

This new policy takes an assets-based approach to California’s diverse multilingual learners, their families and their communities. It draws upon UL Key Principles for ELL Instruction and underscores the importance of local capacity-building and continuous improvement as a way to bolster systemic supports for multilingual learners. 

Site and district leaders and state policy makers can benefit from using this document to frame their own approach to supporting multilingual learners. 

More information about the English Learner Roadmap can be found at

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