Bilingual and ESL
U.S. Department of Education

Bilingual and ESL

My child's first language is not English.  What kind of bilingual or English as a Second Language programs are available?  How does the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA - reauthorized as No Child Left Behind) help my child?

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) includes a number of provisions designed to help students whose first language is not English. 

  • Testing: ESEA requires that all children be assessed, including those with limited English proficiency (LEP).  This ensures that schools are accountable for all students, including those for whom English is not their first language, and that parents and teachers are aware of the needs of these students.

  • Parents Rights: A “Declaration of Rights for Parents of English Language Learners” tells what parents of English language learners can expect under ESEA (available in English and Spanish).

  • Publications in Spanish: We offer a number of publications in Spanish for parents.  Please see Recursos en Español.

  • Clearinghouse: The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA) collects, analyzes, synthesizes and disseminates information about language instruction education programs for English language learners and related programs. 

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), P.L. 114-95, was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015.  ESSA reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In the coming months, the U.S. Department of Education will work with states and districts to begin implementing the new law.  For more information regarding ESSA visit:

Topic Information
  • Topic #: 28022-622
  • Date Created: 12/31/2012
  • Last Modified Since: 03/15/2016
  • Viewed: 1429

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