Multilingual Education

Multilingual/English learners are students whose primary language is not English and who are eligible for English language development services through the Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program (TBIP). Eligible multilingual learners receive TBIP services until they become proficient in English. The state TBIP and federal Title III program address the unique needs of eligible students who come from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds. Both programs share the same goal: develop language proficiency that enables meaningful access to grade level curricula and instruction. 

Under state law, WAC 392-160-005, a Transitional Bilingual program of instruction is defined as a system of instruction which:

  • Uses two languages, one of which is English, as a means of instruction to build upon and expand language skills to enable a student to achieve competency in English;
  • Introduces concepts and information in the primary language of a student and reinforces them in the English language.
Multilingual education Title III services: Federal Title III, Part A funds provide additional support for multilingual learners as well as services for American Indian/Alaska Native students and for multilingual/English learners in private schools.

Learn more about multilingual learning in Washington State and what families should know on the OSPI website.


Amy McLaughlin
Director of Special Programs