Enrollment for 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.

3-K and Pre-K

Some 3-K and pre-K programs offer Dual Language (DL) or Enhanced Language Support (ELS) programs. Use MySchools to find schools that offer language programs by choosing the grade level and selecting the "more filter" option.

  • 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.

Elementary School


  • 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.

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.

Middle School

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 School

  • High schools offer Dual Language (DL), Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), and English as a New Language (ENL) programs. You can use MySchools to learn what services and programs each high school offers.
  • Learn about Specialized High Schools admissions, including English Language Learners' eligibility 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.
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