1. Why do ELLs need to be identified and assessed? According to federal statutes, school districts are legally obligated to identify students who are ELLs so that appropriate educational decisions can be made and appropriate services provided. The Federal Government does not specify how this identification should be accomplished, only that every child who speaks a language other than English must be identified. This requirement has evolved over many years and is based on a long history in the United States of striving to provide everyone with an equal opportunity for success. There is a conscious effort on the part of legislators and the courts to make sure that individuals are treated justly and fairly. English language learners are no exception to this basic premise.