Guiding Principles for Administrators, Policy Makers, and Practitioners

NYS Education Department’s Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages


Researched and written by Dr. Aida A. Nevárez-La Torre, Fordham University, on behalf of NYSABE

Supporting English Learners in the COVID-19 Crisis

This guide addresses issues facing families of English learners as schools prepare to reopen.


The New York State Association for Bilingual Education

The Purpose

The New York State Association for Bilingual Education (NYSABE) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, statewide organization of professional and advocacy members founded in 1976 to address the educational needs of English language learners (ELLs)/bilingual learners.

NYSABE is a multilingual and multicultural association that represents multiple language groups and educational sectors throughout the State. The Association unites educators, parents, school administrators, college professors, researchers, community and business leaders, elected officials, the media and policy makers with a common interest in excellence and equity for ELLs/bilingual learners.


NYSABE encourages the establishment, maintenance, and expansion of quality bilingual educational programs. It also promotes bilingual education as a process by which students achieve success through instruction in their home language while learning English. NYSABE supports the belief that language pluralism and bilingual competence in English and other languages benefit the nation and all its citizens, and that bilingualism and biliteracy are critical components of contemporary education in the United States.

NYSABE is affiliated with the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) and The New York State Council of Educational Associations (NYSCEA).


NYSABE collaborates with professional organizations, including the New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (NYS TESOL), the Association of Dominican American Supervisors and Administrators (ADASA), and the New York State Association of Foreign Language Teachers (NYSAFLT).

The Mission

It is NYSABE’s mission as an organization to dedicate itself to the promotion of services for ELLs/bilingual learners through instruction in their home language and English, i.e., students receive academic instruction in their home language, a language they can understand, while acquiring proficiency in English.

It is our intent to promote bilingualism for all, whereby English speaking students also learn a language other than English, to increase literacy in two languages, promote cultural awareness, and provide educational equity and excellence for students in New York State.

NYSABE involves parents of ELL/bilingual learners in the process of schooling and in public policy decisions that affect them and their children. NYSABE promotes public understanding of the importance of language and culture in education, and defends the rights of linguistic minority communities to promote a pluralistic society.