Title III serves English as a Second Language Students. Through Title III, students who have a primary language other than English receive instruction in English in a specialized setting.

Overview & Service Requirements
  • All students registering in the district must be given a Home Language Survey (HLS) with the following 3 questions:
    1. What is the first language this child learned to speak?
    2. What language does this child speak most often outside of school?
    3. What language do people usually speak in this child’s home?
  • Every student who has an answer other than English on the HLS must be assessed with the Tennessee English Language Placement Assessment (TELPA).
  • Students who score a 1 on the TELPA, or who scored a 1 or 2 composite on the previous year’s English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) must receive a minimum of one hour of ESL services daily
  • Students who score a 2 on the TELPA or who scored a 3 composite on the ELDA must receive services as needed. For many, this will be 1 hour per day.
  • Students who score a 3 on the TELPA do not qualify for ESL services and are coded as Non English Language Background (NELB) in the Education Information System (EIS).
  • Students who score composite 5 on the ELDA must be exited from services and coded as a 1 (Transition 1) in EIS for the first year in transition.
  • Students who score a composite 4 may be exited and coded as 1. If they are not exited, their names must be submitted to the state with a reason for not exiting them.
  • English Learners (ELs) may never be retained or failed based on language ability.
  • All ELs (not Transition students, but Ls and Ws) must be assessed annually with ELDA until exited.
  • ELs must have full access to content curriculum through necessary modifications and accommodations.
  • ELs must take the math, language arts, social studies, and science TCAP annually with one exception: during the first year in the US, the student may be exempt from the English Language Arts Achievement test. This is a one year exemption for the career of the students. No EL is exempt from the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA), which is currently the ELDA in TN.
  • An ESL program may be provided through various service delivery models including: ESL pull-out programs, ESL cluster centers to which students are transported from their zone schools, resource centers/ESL laboratories, newcomer centers, push-in or inclusion models, sheltered content classes, content based ESL classes, structured immersion classes, or scheduled ESL class periods.
  • ESL teachers must be fluent in all four domains (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) of English. Each district should have a plan in place for this before hiring an ESL teacher.
  • ELs should be allowed to participate in all extra-curricular and special programs.
  • ELs and Transition students may receive accommodations on the TCAP achievement assessments.
  • Special Education ELs are served through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). An ESL professional will serve on the IEP team.
  • Important information must be interpreted or translated to parents to the extent practicable.
  • Title III serves families by supporting their ability to help their children in American schools and by providing language services for them.
Translation Services

Allowable Activities

Title III funds may only be used for the requirements set forth under Title III [Sec.3115 (g)].

  • Parents have the rights under  Title III [Sec.3302 (a)] to be informed related to:
    • The reasons for the identification of their child as limited English proficient and in need of placement in a language instruction educational program;
    • The child’s level of English proficiency, how each level was assessed, and the status of the child’s academic achievement;
    • The method of instruction used in the program in which their child is, or will be, participating, and the methods of instruction used in other available programs, including how such programs differ in content, instruction goals, and use of English and a native language instruction;
    • How the program in which their child is, or will be participating will meet the educational strengths and needs of the child;
    • How such program will specifically help their child learn English, and meet age appropriate academic achievement standards for grade promotion and graduation;
    • The specific exit requirements for such program, the expected rate of transition from such program into classrooms that are not tailored for limited English proficient children and the expected rate of graduation from secondary school for such program if funds under this title are used for children in secondary schools;
    • In the case of a child with a disability, how such program meets the objectives of the individualized education program of the child; and
    • Information pertaining to parental rights that includes written guidance detailing
      • The right that parents have to have their child immediately removed from such program upon their request; and
      • The options that parents have to decline to enroll their child in such program or to choose another program or method of instruction, if more than one program or method is offered by the eligible entity.
  • Districts using Title III funds must also separately inform a parent or the parents of a child identified for participation in the language instruction educational program of failure to meet the annual measurable achievement objectives not later than 30 days after such failure occurs.

Nonallowable Activities

  • Translation or interpretation that is required under Office of Civil Rights statutes may not be paid for with Title III funds (from the OCR May 25, 1970 Memorandum).  The Office of Civil Rights statutes predate Title III. 
  • Title I translation or interpretation cannot be paid with Title III funds due to Supplement, Not Supplant [Sec.3115 (g)].

Supreme Court Rulings