Students Learning English
Is your child learning English? Our admissions processes and enrollment are open to all NYC students, including those whose home language is not English.
- Students learning English participate in our admissions processes in the same way as students who are proficient in English.
- No program may deny admission, registration, or enrollment to a student based on the student’s fluency or perceived fluency in English.
An English language learner (ELL) is a student whose home language is not English and who needs support learning English. Find out more about English Language Learners on the following pages:
- Not sure if your child is considered an English Language Learner? Learn more on our Tests for English Language Learners page:
- Learn more about the programs that support students learning English in kindergarten through grade 12 on our Programs for ELLs page:
3-K and Pre-K
Some 3-K and pre-K programs offer Dual Language (DL) or Enhanced Language Support (ELS) programs.
- Use the "Dual/Enhanced Language" filter in 3-K Finder or Pre-K Finder to explore programs with additional supports for your child learning English:
- Read the NYC Pre-Kindergarten Directory on our Pre-K admissions page to learn more about DL and ELS programs.
- Contact programs directly to learn more about the services they offer.
All elementary schools offer English as a New Language (ENL), and some schools also offer Dual Language (DL) or Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) programs.
Learn more on our Kindergarten admissions page, where you can view or download the NYC Kindergarten Directory for your borough:
Gifted and Talented
ELLs participate in the same Gifted and Talented admissions process as students whose first language is English. Students learning English are encouraged to take the Gifted and Talented test.
- When you sign up to take the test, you can choose for your child to test in English, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Russian, Arabic, Urdu, Haitian Creole, Korean, or French.
- Learn more on our Gifted and Talented admissions page, where you can view or download the NYC Gifted and Talented Handbook:
Students learning English may want to apply to programs that use a screened: language admissions method. These programs often give priority to ELLs. Find these programs in your district’s NYC Middle School Directory on our Middle School admissions page. Read the directory to learn what services the middle school programs in your district offer for ELLs.
High schools offer Dual Language (DL), Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), and English as a New Language (ENL) programs.
- Learn more on our High School page, where you can view or download the NYC High School Directory
- You can also use NYC School Finder to learn what services and programs each high school offers:
Specialized High Schools
English Language Learners are eligible for supports and accommodations for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and/or LaGuardia High School auditions. Work with your school counselor to confirm testing accommodations for your test and/or audition.
- Learn more about accommodations on our Specialized High Schools Admissions Test page:
- Visit our Specialized High Schools admissions page to learn more about specialized high schools and find the NYC Specialized High Schools Student Handbook: