State Legislation

There are three main types of legislation that states have passed that impact dual language learners. A significant portion of language learners in the United States live in states that have adopted English-only laws. Several states, however, have begun to put in place bilingual and multilingual laws.

Multilingual Initiatives

Two states have launched their own programs to promote multilingualism. Further, nine additional states and Washington D.C. recognize bilingualism when a student graduates from high school, and many more are developing similar initiatives.

Bilingual Mandates

Several states have begun to require bilingual instruction in their public schools. These requirements vary greatly from state to state.

English-Only Laws

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, voters in California, Arizona, Massachusetts passed ballot measures that dramatically limited language use with regard to how ELLs were instructed.