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Information about the Long-Term English Learner (LTEL) Community of Practice (CoP).


The California Department of Education (CDE), Multilingual Support Division (MSD), with support from Sobrato Philanthropies and technical assistance from the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, established a Community of Practice (CoP) in 2023 grounded in the English Learner (EL) Roadmap Policy focused on understanding the research and local data surrounding students identified as Long-Term English Learners (LTELs). LTEL students are students who have been enrolled in a United States school for six years or more but have not yet been reclassified as fluent English proficient.

Timeline and Goals

LTEL CoP participants will collect and analyze qualitative and quantitative data to better understand students identified as LTELs and design supports around their specific needs. This work includes expanding definitions of data and examining local data (including LTEL course taking, A–G completion, shadowing, observations, etc.) in novel ways through a design thinking and liberatory design framework. Dr. Laurie Olsen, author of Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California’s Long Term English Learners External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF), will contribute to the CoP planning and will document the CoP’s learnings, process, and recommendations following the conclusion of the CoP.

LTEL CoP Goals:

  • Increase awareness of LTELs and the specific needs of LTELs, including socio emotional, academic, literacy, and language proficiency;
  • Engage in professional learning;
  • Improve data literacy;
  • Use data to identify local problems of practice within systems around LTELs ingrades 6–12 and to design local goals with innovative strategies to improvepractice; and
  • Encourage innovation by developing and sharing effective secondary ELprogram models and practices.

LTEL CoP Timeline:

The LTEL CoP will meet over 24 months beginning in spring 2023.

Meeting 1: May 23, 2023, virtual

Meeting 2: October 5, 2023, in-person

Meeting 3: Winter 2024

Meeting 4: Spring 2024

Meeting 5: Spring 2024

Meeting 6: Fall 2024

After the conclusion of the LTEL CoP the CDE will share findings and recommendations statewide in a report that Dr. Laurie Olsen will author. This report will be available under the “resources” tab on this web page in 2025.

The CDE will share additional information and resources developed by the LTEL CoP as relevant throughout the project. These resources will also be available under the “Resources” tab on this web page.



LTEL CoP Resources

Coming soon

CDE LTEL Resources

The CDE EL Roadmap web page includes information and resources related to the California State Board of Education-approved EL Roadmap Policy and associated guidance.

The CDE Reclassification web page includes information and resources on the reclassification criteria and process.

The CDE Enrollment by English Language Acquisition Status (ELAS), LTEL, and At-Risk by Grade web page includes downloadable files with the count of students by grade level by ELAS.

The CDE English Language Development (ELD) Standards web page includes the ELD standards, as well as guidance on integrated and designated ELD, including videos that show integrated and designated ELD in transitional kindergarten through grade 12 classrooms.

The CDE Improving: Research to Practice web page includes the free downloadable publication Improving Education for Multilingual and English Learner Students: Research to Practice.

The California Practitioners’ Guide for Educating English Learners with Disabilities (PDF) includes sections on addressing the academic needs of students identified as LTELs (page 68) and critical considerations for students identified as LTELs in ensuring effective Multi-Tiered System of Support for pre-referral decisions (page 83) as well as other information and guidance on dually identified LTELs throughout the guide.

Partner LTEL Resources

The Regional Education Laboratory West and WestEd published the Long-Term English Learner Students: Spotlight on an Overlooked Population Fact Sheet External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) in 2016. It includes information on students classified as LTELs and promising practices and implications for policymakers and practitioners. 

The report Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California’s Long Term English Learners External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) by Laurie Olsen, Ph.D., was published by California’s Together in 2010.

The report Renewing Our Promise: Research and Recommendations to Support California’s Long-Term English Learners External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) by Manuel Buenrostro and Julie Maxwell-Jolly, Ph.D., was published by Californians Together in 2021.

The US Department of Education’s English Learner Toolkit for State and Local Education Agencies External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) includes information and resources to support students classified as LTELs including a district checklist: steps for addressing the needs of LTELs (chapter 2, page 6).

Participating Local Educational Agencies (LEAs)

The CDE received 57 applications to participate in the LTEL CoP. The number of quality applicants highlights the importance of this work and the need for additional support in this area. The LTEL CoP was able to accommodate six LEAs. The participants were selected with the goal of including LEAs from a variety of contexts and regions from across the state who are poised to innovate to support LTELs.

The participants are:

  • The Bakersfield City School District,
  • The Coachella Valley Unified School District,
  • The Compton Unified School District,
  • The Elk Grove Unified School District,
  • The Escondido Union High School District, and
  • The Salinas Union High School District.

While not all applicants were able to participate, the CDE MSD will share findings and recommendations from the LTEL CoP statewide following the conclusion of the CoP’s work in 2025.
Questions:   Multilingual Support Division | | 916-319-0938
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 07, 2023
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