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TBIP State Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program 

The State Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program (STBIP), with the involvement of parents, educators, and community, is committed to addressing the unique needs of students from linguistically and culturally diverse backgrounds and to help them achieve the high content and performance standards expected of all students in Washington State.  The program helps English Language Learners (ELLs) to become proficient in English and to meet State learning standards.  Created in 1979, the program serves about eight percent of the state's student population.



Program Definition


Washington State Law WAC 392-160 defines “Transitional Bilingual Instruction Program” as a system of instruction which:

  • Uses two languages, one of which is English, as a means of instruction to build upon and expand language skills to enable a student to achieve competency in English.

  • Teaches concepts and knowledge in the primary language of a student, while the student also acquires English language skills.

  • Tests students in the subject matter in English.


Student Eligibility and Placement


  • Eligibility begins with the administration of a Home Language Survey to determine if a language other than English is spoken at home and if the child first spoke a language other than English.

  • If the child speaks a language other than English, the student’s English language ability is measured with the Washington Language Proficiency Test within the student’s first 10 days of attendance.

  • Students scoring at the Beginning, Advanced Beginning, Intermediate, or Advanced Level are eligible for TBIP services.  Students who score at the Transitional Level are not eligible.

  • Under federal guidelines, parents must be informed of student placement in a language program within 30 days of placement.

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