Begin Main Content Area

The Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP)

LEAs are required to thoughtfully and deliberately plan, resource, and evaluate their LIEP. The plan and evaluation results must be made available to all staff working with ELs as well as parents of ELs. 

22 PA. Code §4.26 states: Every school district shall provide a program for each student whose dominant language is not English for the purpose of facilitating the student's achievement of English proficiency and the academic standards under § 4.12 (relating to academic standards). Programs under this section shall include appropriate bilingual-bicultural or English as a second language (ESL) instruction.

As used here, the term "program" refers to:

  1. planned English language development instruction by a qualified ESL/Bilingual Education teacher, and
  2. adaptations/modifications in the delivery of content instruction and assessments by all teachers based on students' language proficiency levels and the Pennsylvania English Language Development Standards (PA ELDS) Framework for ELs as well as the Pennsylvania academic standards.      

Program Models and Program Design

ELs must have equitable access to academic content for all courses in which they are enrolled. Regardless of the program model(s) employed, the LIEP must, at a minimum:

  • be aligned to state academic content standards for the appropriate grade level of the ELs;
  • include ELD instruction delivered by properly certified teachers who hold an ESL program specialist certificate or who are working in conjunction with ESL certified teachers;
  • incorporate the use of the PA ELDS;
  • provide equitable access to content for ELs at all language proficiency levels by providing research-based bilingual or sheltered instruction with fidelity; and
  • not limit the enrollment of ELs in any course or academic program for which they would otherwise be eligible.

The foregoing minimum requirements must be incorporated into the entirety of the student's daily instructional time.

A LEA may design its LIEP in many ways, but it must ensure that the program design meets the needs of its EL population and is based on research and/or a sound educational theory recognized by at least some experts in the field as legitimate.

Regardless of how the LEA chooses to organize its program, the Department requires that it be identified by one of six categories:

  • Mixed Class Bilingual
  • EL Bilingual
  • EL-Specific Transitional Instruction
  • Mixed Classes with Native Language Support
  • EL Specific English Only Instruction
  • Mixed Classes with English Only Support

For assistance in choosing the appropriate category for their LIEPs, LEAs may reference the "Classifying Language Instruction Educational Programs" guidance document.

English Language Development Within the LIEP

The following guidance document defines English language development (ELD) and outlines requirements for including ELD instruction in language instruction educational programs (LIEPs) as well as requirements for educators who deliver ELD.

English Language Development Guidance (PDF)

Bob Measel at or Julia Hutton at