ML Program Quality

Program Quality includes all aspects of Multilingual Learner (ML) education that should be considered in order to develop the school district's Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP). The ML/Title III Team provides leadership for the development, enhancement, assessment, and maintenance of standards implementation at the K-12 level with special emphasis on English language development (ELD), and coordinates professional learning opportunities for all teachers and school administrators to raise performance outcomes in all content areas for students identified as MLs. 

NEW for 2023-2024
Multilingual Learner Program Quality Library

The virtual Multilingual Learner Program Quality Library is a repository designed to bring together pertinent information to support ML/Title III program coordinators in their work with ML Program Quality. The course will support building a strong foundation for ML education and developing and sustaining educational programs and services for MLs. An additional section is dedicated to the specific needs of Charter Schools and recommendations and resources for communication are also included. This Canvas repository can be accessed with a North Carolina public school email address.

Program Quality BOY Session 2023-2024

The beginning of year (BOY) Multilingual learner (ML) Program Quality session offers an overview of the NEW ML Program Quality Library and explores: 

  • Guidance and legislation related to MLs, 
  • Program quality aspects such as 
    • the LIEP
    • ELD Standards
    • Global Languages Endorsement (NC's Seal of Biliteracy)
    • Dual Language/Immersion (DL/I)
    • professional learning 
    • and more
  • Charter specific information 
  • Networking and Communication

Archive  Presentation Slides

To explore further, expand the sections below.

Tab/Accordion Items

ELD Standard Course of Study for NC

On March 4, 2021, the State Board of Education unanimously approved the 2020 Edition of the WIDA English Language Development (ELD) Standards as the NC ELD Standard Course of Study (SCOS). Implementation of the ELD standards will begin with the 2022-2023 school year.

The NC ELD SCOS serves as the framework that guides each PSU in the development of the curriculum and instruction of their MLs. These standards are not intended to be curriculum, nor do they indicate the whole of the curriculum to be written by a PSU. The ELD standards, together with cross-disciplinary academic content standards and disciplinary practices, define the language MLs need as they move toward college, career, and civic readiness. The use of the NC ELD SCOS should be complemented by a well-developed, content-rich curriculum, and practical pedagogical approaches within an equitable educational program for MLs (WIDA 2020). 

Explore the ELD Standards Resource Hub to access a variety of resources that support school leaders, administrators, educators, and parents/caregivers during the implementation of the 2020 NC ELD SCOS in the 22-23 SY.


Multilingual Learner (ML) Success Project

The “Strategies and Innovations for Multilingual Learner Success” (or ML Success) project is underway! Through this project, the UNC Greensboro (UNCG) and NCDPI team members aim for 

  • identifying schools that demonstrate success in supporting multilingual learners (MLs)’ academic development 
  • exploring strategies and innovations that contribute to the success for ML learning 
  • summarizing lessons learned and offering recommendations to inform ML-focuses policies and practices 

Over the next 2 years, the team will collect and analyze data, as well as make recommendations to positively impact ML education. The project will invite 8 researchers from Institutions of Higher Education and 24 educators from K-12 schools to participate in the research team. Research team members will:

  • participate in online workshop sessions during Summer 2023 (about 10 hours)
  • work with other research team members to conduct interviews and focus group discussions (outside of regular work hours) during Fall 2023 (about 10 hours)
  • contribute to data analysis and report writing during Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 (about 10 hours)

Eligible researchers and educators will each receive $1,500 for participation and a certificate of participation for up to a total of 30 hours after the completion of all project activities.

Watch the information session recording and visit the project website to learn more about the project and how you can join the project efforts. Complete the interest form to stay informed.

Multilingual-Multimodal Science Inventory (M2-Si) Grant

The NCDPI, in partnership with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), is looking for five (5) PSUs/districts to participate in a grant to create a Multilingual-Multimodal Science Inventory (M2-Si) e-portfolio formative science assessment for students in grades 3-5.

The grant spans four (4) years, 2022 - 2026, and, once created, the e-portfolio will assist educators and families in understanding the academic progress of multilingual students. We will work with dual language/immersion (DL/I) programs and programs which use other models for language instruction. This new approach to assessment will position multilingualism as an asset that students bring into the classroom and showcases North Carolina’s innovative efforts in understanding student achievement and growth. More detailed information about the initiative can be found on the NCDPI website and in the grant proposal.


Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP) 

According to the State Board of Education Policy 16 NCAC 06D .0106 (d) all PSUs are required to adopt a program or programs for multilingual learner students who need assistance that have a reasonable chance of allowing students to progress in school. The program may be one of the following unless some other method or process can be effectively substituted: (1) English as a second language (ESL); (2) bilingual education; (3) programs that provide neither instruction in the native language nor direct instruction in ESL but which adapt instruction to meet the needs of these students.

The most commonly reported LIEP types in the NC public schools include programs that utilize two languages for instruction and programs that utilize English for instruction. Read the description of the LIEP types in NC to learn more about these programs.

More information about some of the programs implemented in the state may be found at Dual Language/Immersion in NC and Global Education in NC.

All school districts should have one designee to develop and establish district-wide protocols and procedures for the implementation of the Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP) based on federal and state guidance, coordinate district-wide activities for professional development and family engagement, and collect and report information related to English Learners and Immigrant Children and Youth. 

All charter schools are required to follow the guidance provided to LEAs and work on their LIEP Service Chart to support students identified as multilingual learners.

All charter schools should:

  1. designate a person to work with data via PowerSchool, the authoritative source for EL data, even if there are currently no multilingual students enrolled. 
  2. update the program coordinator field in EDDIE.
  3. be aware of the NC process for identifying MLs.
  4. be aware of the annual ACCESS test of English language proficiency in case students arrive during the year; the ACCESS administration is usually late January through mid-March.
  5. complete the EL and Immigrant Headcounts.
  6. be aware of EL support documentation such as the EL Data, Collection, Reporting, and PowerSchool, Program Quality, and Program Compliance pages.

Charter schools with ML students should:

  1. utilize the NC ELD SCOS to guide instruction
  2. complete an LIEP Service Chart and submit it to ML/Title III at NCDPI via Epicenter
  3. complete an EL/ML Plan for each identified ML student. 
  4. follow proper W-APT/WIDA Screener and ACCESS test training procedures
  5. attend the Program Coordinator’s meeting hosted by NCDPI or review documents if unable to attend

Multilingual Learners (MLs) in Dual Language/Immersion (DL/I) 

Types of Immersion

There are two types of immersion programs: One-Way and Two-Way. These terms refer to the population of students being served in the DL/I program.

  • One-Way Immersion - Students enrolled in the DL/I program are mostly monolingual speakers, either of English or of the DL/I program language.
  • Two-Way Immersion - Students enrolled in the DL/I program are a combination of native speakers of English and native speakers of the DL/I program language.

Two-way Dual Language/Immersion (DL/I) programs began in North Carolina in 1995 and Spanish One-way began in 2011 to meet the needs of MLs. MLs in DL/I have been highlighted in presentations at the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC), La Cosecha, and the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic-Latino Affairs (GACHLA).

  • How many Spanish one-way programs are in NC? There are 3 programs
  • How many two-way programs are in NC? There are over 80 programs
  • What percent of NC DL/I programs are two-way? Over 35% of DL/I programs in NC are two-way programs.
  • What program languages are they using? The current three program languages are Spanish, Chinese, and Urdu.

To learn more about the DL/I Programs in NC, please visit the DL/I webpage. Be sure to explore the DL/I Directory (spreadsheet and visual versions).

English Learner Considerations (ELC)

With the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), accountability for the progress and proficiency of multilingual learners (MLs) moved from Title III to Title I. This shift moved accountability for MLs from the district to the school level. The English Learners Considerations (ELC) document was designed to offer assistance to both LEAs and charter schools as they explore additional strategies and resources for meeting the needs of MLs and successfully navigating the ESSA accountability requirements.

The English Learner Considerations (ELC) are designed to help school-level and district-level personnel identify and prioritize implementation steps via ML-related questions in conjunction with the Facilitated Assessment of MTSS - School Level.

Explore the ELC document and recommended uses.

Program Quality Highlights Archive

The Program Quality Highlights featured professional learning and instructional resources for teachers of MLs, educator spotlights, Title III reminders, and opportunities to build capacity for MLs. Please use the links below to access archived editions.

Program Quality Review (PQR)

The Program Quality Review (PQR) is for Public School Units (PSUs) that are charged with ensuring the program quality of a school and its implementation of practices that support multilingual learners (MLs). Stakeholders may use the PQR tool to reflect upon, develop, and/or improve their LIEP. Sections 2 Parent and Community Engagement, 3 Instructional Programs and Assessment, 4 Teacher Qualifications and Professional Development, 5 Program Evaluation and Continuous Improvement can assist PSUs with identifying areas of success and areas that may need to be addressed.  

To learn more about the PQR, view these slide decks and accompanying webinar recordings.

Please note: The terms on this page may alternate between "English Learner" (EL) and "Multilingual Learner" (ML). As of March 21, 2022, NCDPI shifted to using "English Learner" for policy and legislation purposes and "Multilingual Learner" for all other purposes. See this letter or watch this video for more details.

Information and Resources

For more information, visit our subpages below or on the side-rail:

Program Quality, Program Compliance, Legislation & Policy, Professional Learning, and Resources.

To receive announcements, periodic newsletters, and other updates, sign up at NCDPI Email Updates. Add your email address and select these listservs: Dual Language/Immersion (DL/I) Educators, NC LinguaFolio, and Teachers of Multilingual Learners.