Bilingual/ESL Program

The purpose of the Bilingual and ESL programs in the state of Wisconsin is to assist school districts serving students who are English language learners (ELLs) to become proficient in academic English and prepared for their continuing education, and career readiness goals. In the 2012 school year, Wisconsin serves nearly 47,000 ELLs students. While Spanish is the largest language group and Hmong is the next most frequent home language, there are over 137 identified spoken languages by our students. In addition, our ELL students are registered in 80% of the 424 school districts across Wisconsin.

Upcoming Events

October 22-23, 2015:  Annual Meeting for Bilingual-Bicultural Program Administrators and Coordinators.  The annual meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Some of the planned topics include:  bilingual-bicultural program updates; continuing work and input related to bilingual-bicultural criteria around using L1; new ways to share materials and resources district-to-district; and, conversations around cultural and linguistic responsiveness, universal design models, and how the latter can be tweaked to better serve emergent bilingual students.

Reminder:  Per the assurances submitted with your annual plan of services, districts are to send at least one program administrator or coordinator, or a representative, to the annual meetings.  Click here to register; registration fees should remain the same as last year.  For more information, please contact Tolu Sanabria, or 608-267-9235.

October 24, 2015:  WITESOL Conference, to be held on the UW-Oshkosh campus.  For more information, please go to the WITESOL website:, and click on Fall Conference.  To note:  we are sharing this information with you, but cannot answer any questions you have or provide additional information.  Please check the WITESOL website for contact information.

For questions about this information, contact Audrey Lesondak (608) 266-7292, Tolu Sanabria (608) 267-9235