English as a Second Language (ESL)

Office of Language Acquisition

en español


The Office of Language Acquisition (OLA) is dedicated to serving the needs of English learners. OLA supports the district in providing English learners (ELs) with the full range of learning opportunities equivalent to those provided to native speakers of English. We are also committed to providing our English learners access to high quality K-12 educational programs designed to ensure they acquire full proficiency in English as rapidly and effectively as possible, in order to meet or exceed grade level standards for academic achievement in a timely manner.


San Diego Unified and OLA recognize that being academically prepared and fully proficient in another language enhances and contributes to a student's ultimate achievement and quality of life. To that end, the district offers biliteracy program options that strengthen English learners' native language development and content knowledge while building social and academic English skills. In addition, the district offers World Language and Language Immersion Programs as a venue for native English speakers to become proficient in a second language.

The department also coordinates and provides assistance to parent committees, including school site-based English Learner Advisory Committees (ELAC), and the District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC), a district-level advisory committee made up of representatives from each school's ELAC.

Of the roughly 121,000 students in San Diego Unified, 24 percent approximately 32,000 students are designated as English learners. As a result of the focused efforts to accelerate the academic achievement of English learners, the district has increased the number of students reaching the San Diego Unified's criteria for Reclassified Fluent English Proficient from 2,300 students in 2007 to more than 3,900 students in 2012.

Furthermore, our reclassified English learners are currently outperforming the district as a whole on standardized measures of assessment. For more information, please visit the Office of Accountability to access the most current student demographics information including current English learner population by school and grade level and current enrollment by English language fluency level.

Contact Us

Office of Language Acquisition
4100 Normal Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Phone: 619-725-7264
Fax: 619-686-6772

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