Bilingual Program


The Bilingual Program provides individualized and group instruction in English as a Second Language (ESL) and Spanish for incarcerated individuals who are Spanish monolingual or Spanish dominant.

Individuals who are monolingual or dominant in another language are provided with instruction in ESL. 

Program goals include:

  • To prepare the illiterate Spanish monolingual/dominant individual in his primary language for ESL instruction by providing a foundation in the primary language.
  • To prepare the Spanish dominant student for the Spanish HSE exam.
  • To provide the Limited English Proficient (LEP) individual with the opportunity to understand and to speak English fluently, achieve functional literacy, write English at a satisfactory level, and learn the basic life skills necessary for functioning in our society.

To be eligible:

SPANISH ABE: Reading and/or math level below sixth grade level as measured by the Spanish version of the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE Español) for Spanish monolingual or Spanish dominant.

SPANISH HSE: Reading and math levels above sixth grade level as measured by the TABE Español, Level M.

ESL: English skills below Level 10 as measured by the Best Plus Test. A sixth grade literacy level in Spanish per the TABE Español, Level M.

Retesting is scheduled as follows:

FOR SPANISH ABE: Each individual in the Bilingual and/or Adult Basic Education Program is to be retested using the TABE Español Levels E and M, approximately three times per year. A score of 6.0 in the TABE Español Level M is required for promotion to Spanish HSE.

FOR SPANISH HSE: In order to take the HSE in Spanish, each candidate must achieve a score of 9.0 in reading and math on the SABE 6 and achieve a minimum total passing score on the official HSE Readiness Test in Spanish.

FOR ESL: Each participant will be retested approximately every 150 hours of instruction or every four months on the Best Plus Test. Life Skills and other language areas can be assessed by a variety of instruments at the discretion of the teacher. LEP students who obtain a level 9-10 on the Best Plus Test are retested in reading on the TABE (in English) and remain in school until they reach an English reading level of 6.0 on the TABE, Level M.

This program is available at most general confinement facilities.