State Manual to Assist Districts in Working with Limited English Proficient Students

Michigan Department of Education

Programs for Limited English Proficient Students

It is the position of the Michigan Department of Education that students of limited English proficiency can achieve levels of academic performance comparable to those of the general English speaking population, and that it is the responsibility of local school districts to provide appropriate instructional services to ensure that these students are not deprived of the opportunity to learn content matter while they also gain proficiency in English.

Bilingual Education is one approach that makes it possible for linguistically diverse children to achieve the same challenging academic standards required of all children enrolled in Michigan's schools.

A well designed instructional program, using the student's native language to varying degrees, can be very effective in promoting English proficiency and subject area competence. The goals of Bilingual Education programs are to:
  • Help limited English proficient students master English; and
  • Help limited English proficient students master challenging content in all areas of the curriculum.
Bilingual Education is a vehicle to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence for limited English proficient learners.

Other options for meeting the obligation to provide appropriate instructional services to limited English proficient students include various types of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. Guidance on selecting and implementing appropriate programs is found in the Office for Civil Rights document, Programs for English Language Learners, which is available on the Michigan Department of Education website at:,4615,7-140-6530_30334_40078---,00.html.

For more information, please contact the Office of Field Services at:

Michigan Department of Education
Office of Field Services
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909
Telephone: (517) 373-3921
Fax: (517) 335-2886