Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL)

As we stand with our colleagues, partners and friends to uphold equity as our core value, we hold ourselves accountable in the belief that true equity for English Learners cannot be experienced until equity, racial and social justice is realized for all of us. We stand in the historic  “lucha” for civil and educational rights and re-commit ourselves with hope for healing in solidarity with our Black  and Afro-Latinx brothers and sisters.
Four students studying around a laptop

The Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) enriches and supports the work of schools, school systems, education/community partners, and policy makers through an assets-based approach. CEEL exists to serve unique academic, social, and language needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students in California and throughout the nation. CEEL’s staff provides consistent high-quality services including research and evaluation, policy and advocacy, and resources and professional learning.


Upcoming Events:

Jornada Pedagógica Conference
The 29th Jornada Pedagógica is coming --- February 5, 2022! Don’t miss the opportunity to listen and dialogue in Spanish in academic contexts with colleagues, our exciting keynote, and workshop presenters. Read more.

Alma Flor Ada Award Application
Deadline: January 28, 2022
We are currently accepting application for the 4th Annual Alma Flor Ada Award for Social Justice. If you are a bilingual educator, you can apply to receive this $1,000 award to be presented at our Jornada conference. Please review our eligibility guide and submit an application. 

New Publications:

LAUSD Family Poll
The Center for Equity for English Learners has partnered with Great Public Schools Now to produce this year's Annual LAUSD Family Poll. Learn about how Los Angeles families about education as we continue into the third school year of this historical pandemic.

Communication Series on English Learner Supports during COVID-19

View CEEL's Education and Research Supports for English Learners during COVID-19 Communication #9 - Secondary Newcomer English Learners

CEEL continues to provide Education and Research Supports for ELs during COVID-19. This is the ninth publication in our Communication series based on CEEL’s research-based Equitable Distance Learning for English Learners Design Principles (versión en español)

Voices from the Field - highlighting educators’ commendable and steadfast efforts to serve English Learners and Dual Language Learners in virtual learning spaces during these unprecedented times;

Resources and Research - curated resources focused on ELs/DLLs across a variety of topics such as social and emotional learning, highlights of best practices for distance learning, instructional materials, professional learning in virtual spaces, leadership, and family-school partnerships.

We also invite you to view our full collection of  for supporting English learner education.

To view previous English Learner Supports during COVID-19 Communications, please visit our  page.

To view the California Department of Education's COVID-19 Weekly Newsletter link here.

Schools must work harder to connect culturally with English learners during the pandemic

California students, particularly English learners, don’t just need schools to provide them with access to math, reading, science and social studies. They need schools to help them and their parents cross cultural and linguistic barriers to access distance learning materials and instructions.

Read the full commentary written by Dr. Magaly Lavadenz, Executive Director and Dr. Elvira Armas, Director of Programs and Partnerships on EdSource.

STARTALK-LMU 2021: Student Program and Teacher Institute

Our 2021 STARTALK Teacher Program is still underway and there is time to register for Course 3 or 4 of our . Courses 1 and 2 prepared Mandarin program teachers to deliver the first-ever virtual program for first - fourth grade students. View a parent testimonial here.

This year the STARTALK Mandarin Student Summer Immersion Program was held virtually. The program took place from July 6th to July 20th. To learn more about this program and stay updated on future STARTALK programs, please visit  

Distance Learning with Common Sense: Equitable Distance Learning for English Learners

How can we best meet the unique academic, social, and language needs of students who are culturally and linguistically diverse?  Dr. Elvira Armas, Director of Programs and Partnerships from the Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL) at Loyola Marymount University, and Mayra Lavadenz and Charlene Fried, accomplished teachers of English learners joined Common Sense for a discussion on equitable distance learning for English Learners. This conversation with Vicki Saylor, AZ Regional Manager for Common Sense Education shares key considerations for implementing equitable design principles, best practices for distance learning, and research-based resources to support English-language learners' social and emotional learning as well as their language development. Please click here to view.

CEEL Policy Brief: Examining English Learners’ College Readiness and Postsecondary Enrollment in California

In this brief we examine ELs’ college readiness and postsecondary education outcomes in California. In what follows, we summarize relevant literature on college readiness among EL students. We then present data retrieved from the California Department of Education (CDE) on college readiness and postsecondary education. We conclude with recommendations for improving ELs’ college readiness and postsecondary enrollment.

A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction

In partnership with The Ed Trust-West, members of our Center for Equity for English Learners team served as feedback advisors in the development of A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction toolkitWe are pleased to share this newly released resource that can be accessed at

Hybrid Learning Requires Equitable Investments for Historically Underserved Students

Screenshot of cover of A Vision for CA Schools this Fall

A Vision for California’s Schools this Fall: Equity for Dual Language and English Learners in an Unprecedented Moment (June 2020)

As California educators, administrators, and policymakers prepare to design and implement a variety of possible hybrid learning models for students in the fall we seek to prioritize meaningful support—resources, energy, and attention—aimed at DLLs/ELs’ linguistic, academic, social, and emotional development as schooling resumes.

California schools cannot succeed with hybrid learning this fall unless they take substantive action to address dual language learners (DLLs) and English learners (ELs) needs.

Recommendations focus on Four Key Areas:

  • Opportunity Gaps
  • Hybrid Learning
  • Assessments and Accountability

Family Engagement and Support Read this brief and join us in a call to action by engaging in one of the following activities:

  1. contact your local and/or state officials
  2. share this with your district or school leaders
  3. develop a plan of action with a group of colleagues to act on these recommendations, and join us in calling on decision-makers to act now!

This brief is a joint publication of Advancement Project California, California Association for Bilingual Education, Californians Together, Center for Equity for English Learners at Loyola Marymount University, Early Edge California, Sobrato Early Academic Language, The Education Trust-West.

The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Toolkit

The Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) Toolkit: Using research-based tools to promote equity for English Learners is a resource for educators, families, and community members to ensure that the LCAP—the state's public accountability mechanism—reflects how actions, services, programs, and resources are made visible to ensure equitable opportunities and outcomes for English Learners.

To access the LCAP Toolkit click here.

To access the webinar training presented by Californians Together and CEEL that took place on March 25, 2020, click here.

Professional Learning Opportunities

  • Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is offering a new Academic Spanish Certificate Program for teachers. This is a one year program in Spanish geared specifically for Spanish speakers and teachers in bilingual/dual language programs for the purpose of increasing their Academic Spanish language skills.

    Teaching Academic Spanish in Grades Pre K-12 Certificate

    Course 1: 'Review of Spanish Linguistics and Biliteracy'
    Course 2: 'Academic Spanish for the Language Arts and Social Studies Instructional Program'
    Course 3: 'Academic Spanish for the Science and Math Instructional Program'

    Please click here for more information about our upcoming Teaching Academic Spanish in Grades Pre K-12 Certificate Program Cohort, including registration information.

  • This distinctive certificate is designed to provide Early Childhood and Transitional Kindergarten teachers with expertise to create and design effective learning environments, curriculum, and instruction that are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate for young learners. The Early Childhood/Transitional Kindergarten Teaching Certificate, offered by CEEL, consists of a three-course program of study with a combination of real-time webinars and on-line sessions. This program expands the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of credentialed multiple subject educators through the following courses:

    Course 1: 'Designing Modified Curricula for TK/ECE'
    Course 2: 'Fostering Family/Community Engagement for TK/ECE'
    Course 3: 'Using Assessment to Support Early Learning and Development in Early Childhood and Transitional Kindergarten'

    Please click here for certificate program information, course dates, and registration links.


  • CEEL presents a three-day interactive series on teaching and learning for grades Pre K-12, featuring the Observation Protocol for Academic Literacies (OPAL). The OPAL Institute is a tool for guiding reflective teaching practice for English Language Learners.

    The OPAL Institute is designed for participants to:

    • Build expertise in identifying and providing feedback on effective practices for ELLs
    • Examine critical aspects of engagement and interaction for ELLs
    • Learn how to identify topics for differentiated professional development based on OPAL observations
    • Become certified OPAL trainers upon completion of the three day institute
  • Program Descriptions:

    The LMU Mandarin Teacher Summer Institute supports participants in LMU's Chinese Bilingual Teacher Education Program by providing scholarships and professional learning opportunities. The Center for Equity for English Learners offers a second pathway for Mandarin Program Educators interested in extending their professional development through the Teaching Mandarin in PreK-12 Settings Certificate Program. The Certificate, offered through LMU Extension, serves Mandarin teachers who are TK-12 credentialed, non-credentialed, and heritage language teachers.

    The STARTALK-LMU Mandarin Student Summer Immersion Program will offer a no-cost Chinese Virtual Summer Immersion program for current kindergarten through third-grade students. The 2021 program will be held from July 6 – July 20, 2021.  

    We will offer standards-aligned arts and movement, target language instruction in Mandarin delivered by credentialed teachers, and focused on enriching arts, literature, and cultural learning activities. Through our partnership with local artists, a Chinese artist in residence will provide authentic, guided cultural activities for students. Teacher-student ratios will ensure quality, whole and small group instruction through live zoom class sessions. Students will participate for 4 instructional hours per day, Monday through Friday for 11 days.

    Read more about our STARTALK-LMU program. To register to the Teacher Institute, please view our certificate programs.

  • Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is offering a new Leadership for Equity Certificate Program for teachers. This is a one year program in Leadership that provides educators with current research and knowledge in policy, programs, and instruction to increase English Learner achievement and biliteracy.

    Leadership for Equity in English Learner Education Certificate

    Course 1: 'Leadership and English Learner Advocacy'
    Course 2: 'Instructional Leadership for Bilingual Pedagogies'
    Course 3: 'School and Community Leadership'

    Please click here for more information about our upcoming Leadership for Equity in English Learner Education Certificate Program Cohort, including registration information.