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Bilingual Education: How Far Has It Come

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Bilingual Education: How Far Has It Come?
Despite federal laws of today’s society require that states provide language education to all non-native English speaking students, less than 150 years ago, Congress banned bilingual education in public schools. During the Civil War and World War I and II, bilingualism was considered to be a threat to national unity which increased the risk of terrorism. As a result, the struggle for federal and state recognition of bilingual education as a civil right has been long and fierce. While such fears of bilingualism are no longer as prevalent in today’s society, racist attitudes toward ESOL, LEP, ELL, and ESL students are very apparent. With going tensions surrounding the topic of immigration and terrorism, there is a stigma of non-English speakers that follows.
This stigma is particularly strongly
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NAEP statistics from 1992 to the present indicate that more than 60% of Hispanic students scored below the national normative standards for grades 4, 8 and 12. Forty-two percent of ELLs 16 to 24 had dropped out of high school, while the rate for others was ten and a half percent. Twenty-five percent of ELLs in high poverty high schools had repeated one-grade (fifteen percent for others). This statistical data shows how ELLs who experience poverty and live in high poverty areas are less likely to succeed educationally.
It is true that in the last 150 years alone, bilingual education has come a long way and has been changed presumably for the better. Though, despite all of the good that has come from this evolution of education, there is still much more to be done. Bilingual education has quite a bit of improvement to be made in order to better benefit ELL students and help guide them through acculturation, rather than force them to assimilate to American society and bear the weight of racism and discriminatory
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