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Multilingual Learners

Multilingual learners
Willmar Public Schools welcomes multilingual learners and the rich diversity they bring to our schools.


Multilingual learners — also sometimes known as English learners (EL) or English language learners (ELL) — have the right to a quality education that prepares them for post-secondary education after high school.

The multilingual learners programming at Willmar Public Schools support learners in developing English so that they can succeed in school and beyond. Supplemental language instruction is delivered by licensed EL teachers and highly qualified EL paraprofessionals at elementary, middle school and high school levels.

Multilingual learners services in Willmar Public Schools ensure that:

  • Students enhance their English skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • Students have access to quality school curriculum.
  • Students are supported to reach high academic standards in English and content areas from grades K-12.
  • Students learn in a setting supportive of their native language and culture.
  • Families can fully participate in the education of their children. 

Director of teaching and learning

Carrie Thomas

More than 39 percent of students in Willmar Public Schools have a home language other than English.

At last count, 26 languages are spoken by students in Willmar Public Schools. Of those:

  • 48¬†percent speak Spanish.
  • 45 percent speak Somali.
  • 4 percent speak Karen.
  • Some of the other languages spoken include: Amharic, Anuak, Arabic, Burmese, Chinese, Estonian, Ewe, Filipino, French, German, Gujarati, Korean, Lingala, Nuer, Ojibwa, Quichua, Russian, American Sign Language, Swahili, and Vietnamese.