Title III, Part A - English Language Learners

The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) provides statewide leadership in promoting high quality education for English language learners (ELLs). Often referred to as limited English proficient (LEP) students, the MDE prefers the term English language learners (ELLs).

The purpose of the Title III program is to ensure that limited English proficient (LEP) children, including immigrant children and youth, master English and meet the same rigorous standards for academic achievement as all children are expected to meet, including meeting challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards by developing high-quality language instruction educational programs.

Definition of English Language Learners (ELL)

Students who are English Language Learners are classified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) or Immigrant Children and Youth. Those classifications are defined below:

The MDE wishes to identify major issues affecting the education of English Language learners, and to assist and support local school districts' efforts to emphasize high academic standards, school accountability, professional development and parent involvement.

The MDE is responsible for:

  • administering grant programs that help children develop proficiency in English and achieve high content standards;
  • recommending policies and promoting best practices for meeting the needs of English language learners,
  • strengthening collaboration and coordination among state and local programs serving English language learners;
  • monitoring programs and providing technical assistance that focuses on outcomes and accountability; and
  • providing professional development opportunities for teachers who serve limited English proficient children.

Program funds must be used :

  • to implement high-quality language instruction educational programs that are built on scientifically based research demonstrating the effectiveness of the programs in increasing English proficiency and student academic achievement in the core academic subjects;
  • to provide high-quality professional development of sufficient intensity and duration to classroom teachers, administrators, and other school or community-based organization personnel to improve the instruction and assessment of LEP students; and
  • to annually assess the English proficiency of all LEP students served by activities carried out under this section.

Additionally, funds may be used:

  • to upgrade program objectives and effective instructional strategies;
  • improve the instruction program for LEP children by identifying, acquiring, and upgrading curricula, instruction materials, educational software and assessment procedures;
  • provide tutorials and academic, or vocational and technical training;
  • provide community participation programs, family literacy services, and parent outreach and training activities to LEP children and their families;
  • acquire or develop education technology, including materials in languages other than English; and
  • participate in electronic networks for materials, training, and communication, and incorporating information derived from such participation in curricula and programs. 

These funds are supplemental

The Office of Federal Programs provides resources for teachers, including books, materials, and information about possible contacts who may speak the student's language. The law mandates that schools teach English to students who speak other languages, and the purpose of this program is to assist in that education. 

The following websites may prove helpful:


Center on Instruction – Instructional materials for teachers

Office of Federal Programs     P.O. Box 771     Jackson, MS 39205-0771     Phone: (601) 359-3499     Fax: (601) 359-2587

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