English language learners (ELL) are one of the fastest growing classifications of students attending schools in the United States today. They represent a diverse group of students typically coming from homes or backgrounds where English is not the primary language spoken. Additionally, ELL students experience difficulties communicating or learning academic instruction in English.
In many schools throughout the country, there are populations of students that have been pushed to the side, with their education thought of as just their specialized teachers’ responsibility. While this situation is changing for some students, such as those with disabilities and students who are lucky enough to have dual language immersion programs in their school, many students who are learning English are still struggling to access the same curriculum that everyone else in the school has a chance to learn. Guadalupe Valdés (2001) looked at the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at a school which she called Garden Middle School. Although Valdés completed this study over fifteen years ago, the experience that her focal students had
According to the No Child Left Behind Act of (NCLB) of 2001, one of the Titles III’s purposes was “to develop high-quality language instruction education programs designed to assist states, district and schools in teaching limited English proficient children and serving immigrant children and youth” ( ESEA Section 3102 (3) as stated in Language Instruction Educational Programs ( LIEPs), 2012 p. viii). As such, Article 14-C of the Illinois School Code recognizes two models to serve ELL students: a transitional bilingual education (TBE) program or transitional program of instruction
Over the last decade or so, important legislation has been implemented to positively ensure fair and equal access to a quality education for English Language Learners (ELL). Change did not happen without there being obstacles to overcome. There were many overturned cases that initially sought to strip English Language Learners of their basic rights to an education. Yet, there would eventually be legislation instituted to help alter the course.
Under the Civil Rights Act, schools are responsible for ensuring that all students receive equal access to education, including English Language Learners (ELLs). Merely, providing the same educational resources for all students does not constitute educational equality. Students such as ELLs, need an English Language Development (ELD) program that accommodates their specific language needs in order to legitimately offer equal educational opportunities. Based on research findings, districts need to implement and developing ELD programs that have had proven success rates of making adequate yearly progress for ELLs. For years, psychologists and linguistic theorists have speculated on the acquisition of language and educators have studied these research findings to enhance their teaching pedagogy to accommodate their ELLs.
The United States is continuing to grow in the number of families that are immigrating to our country. According to Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2007), “As of 2000, there were approximately 107,000 immigrant elementary students and 100,000 middle and high school students in Washington State, based on U.S. Census data.” Children from these families enter our educational system knowing very little English and they are considered to be an English Language Learner (ELL) defined by “those whose primary language is a language other than English and who have English language skill deficiencies that impair their learning in regular classrooms” (Malagon, McCold, Hernandez, 2011, p. IV). While parents truly believe their children will receive a better education in the United States as oppose to the country they came from, English Language Learner students face a number of everyday challenges while at school. These challenges go beyond learning the English language; they include the struggles that are faced not only academically, but socially as well. English Language Learner students face these day-to-day problems due to their inability to express their ideas and thoughts, along with not being able to communicate substantially and identify with the people in their community.
The mere reference to the label given to students acquiring the English language potentially sparks debate amongst educators, policy makers and researchers. The federal government refers to these students as Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. This identification references the deficiencies the student may have rather than to identify the diversity and gifts that the student may possess. Such labels set premature limitations of the student and predisposes the student to limited rigor in instruction. Educators and researchers reference the same subgroup of students as ELLs, establishing the understanding that with sufficient support, increased rigor and cultural understanding, students will succeed.
Due to the economic recession, some public schools have to reduce the cost of the ESL programs. In order to reduce the cost, Chen reports “some schools and states have created mandatory full inclusion programs, where ESL students are immersed in a regular paced English class, with students who are fluent in English” (¶3). This full inclusion program can have disadvantages and advantages to ESL students and fluent students. If ESL students were in the full inclusion program, then they were “in an atmosphere for learning”, but a lot of parents and educators argued that this program is “ineffective” for both ESL and fluent students. If ESL students were in the class with fluent students, then the teacher had to slow down “the pace of instruction”, which would benefit ESL students but not the fluent students. So, it is important that ESL students are in an ESL program to learn the language, even though it might take years to learn the language. Because learning a language takes time, public schools need a good ESL
The United States has always been considered a “melting pot”, but how true is that statement now? While there is growing diversity among the population of the United States, the different people may not be blending together as well as they should. Many people are unaware of how many students are English language learners. According to authors Katharine Davies Samway and Denise McKeon, the largest growing group of students in our country is the language minority students (2007). There are many negative ideas that people have regarding those students. However, those students deserve a quality education as much as native English speaking students. The responsibility to provide this falls on the families, the government, and the teachers of those students.
America’s educational system is home to an increasing number of English language learners. Some research indicates that by the year 2030, over 40% of elementary and secondary students served by schools in the United States will come from homes where a language other than English is spoken (Thomas & Collier, 2001). In an effort to accommodate these students, the United States has adopted policies at both the federal and state levels. Generally, the direction taken to meet the needs of English language learners has depended on the climate of the nation. During times of peace and prosperity, policies reflect the nation’s tolerance of other languages and cultures. However, during times of war or conflict, policies have reflected
The challenges an English language learner (ELL/ESL) struggles with, such as “how one flips from one language to another ultimately determines an English language learner’s success,” existed before the Common Core (Vilson). Other educators, like Lori Musso, have been working on implementing the Common Core for ELL students. Musso is with the San Mateo County Office of Education and has explained that the standards for ELL, and the standards for the general curriculum, have been merged into the same standards as their peers (Avendano). The executive director at Stanford University’s Understanding Language initiative, Martha Castellón, works to improve the education of ELL under the new Common Core. “We know what needs to be done in terms of educating ELLs, to give them the language skills they need to be successful under the [Common Core],” says Castellón, but she realizes that there’s a shortage in resources for the ELL instructors
ELL education is important when considering the adequacy and equity of education for ELLs and non-ELLs alike. Ramirez et al. studied the adequacy and equity of funding ELLs in Colorado through categorical funding in the English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA) and determined the effect of ELL enrollment in conjunction with the ELPA program on school districts. He found that in Colorado, ELPA does not
The decision on the case positively affected the educational system. For example, this is the reason why school directs are required to provide equal opportunities for English Language Learners (ELLs). To help ELLs overcome the language barriers, school districts started implemented instructional programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL), Bilingual Education, and English Structured Immersion (ESL). Most importantly, teachers are offered professional development regarding instructional strategies for English Language Learners. Thus, ELLs are given adequate resources that enable them to receive an appropriate
According to the OCR, goals for ELLs should relate to goals established for all students throughout the district. School districts are encouraged to consider the population they apply to, the level of expected performance, when the performance should be achieved, and how the success of ELL students will be measured. Ultimately, the goals established should address both content area classes and English language development all while being complying with New York State regulations. Programs for students with limited English proficiency must include the following: (1) constructed from a sound educational theory; (2) sufficiently supported to result in program success; and (3) regularly evaluated and revised, if necessary. To create an effective program, school districts should consider both educational goals and acquisition of the English language. In addition to goals that address the targeted population’s needs, an ELL plan also needs to be comprehensive and detailed so all school personnel is able to comply with the plan with little guidance. Districts are required to revise their ELL plans if a program fails to demonstrate achievement of the goals established. If goals are not established, an ELL plan’s success is measured if students are participating in classrooms and demonstrating progress with English language development.With the responsibility of establishing ELL program goals being left up to the districts, variations of achievement criteria differ within and across
Public education is a staple in our society. The building blocks of the future leaders of the United States lies in the hands of the public education system. The quality of the public education in America is by far more successful than people think of it to be. Public education has qualities that make our community function. Public education helps students become ready for college and the future life experiences they might encounter. In addition to this it allows students to have a greater understanding of democracy and the concept of government. Lastly but equally important public education allows to develop individual opinions which leads to making someone have decision making skills that is very important in higher education and life.