A growing reality for many of the nation’s educators is a curriculum that hasn’t kept pace with the changing face of America’s student population.
English Language Learners
Over 400 languages are spoken by students who are English Language Learners nationwide. English Language Learners comprise 10 percent of the student population enrolled in U.S. K–12 schools—the fastest-growing group of students in our nation’s schools. These students bring a rich cultural diversity to our student populations and communities, but with a language barrier to participation and access in the education system, ELL students are also disproportionately underserved.
Unfortunately, these demographic changes haven’t seen parallel changes in the way schools perceive and educate ELL students. Many educators are underprepared to meet the linguistic and academic needs of ELLs, and many lack the cultural competence to deal with this diverse group of students. At the same time, current school resources are inadequate for providing the training and support ELL educators and students need.
California Proposition 58 reverses the misguided requirement that English language learners (ELL) be taught only in English, and provides English speaking students with the opportunity to learn a second language.
People ask me all the time if this isn’t too controversial for students in my fourth grade class. It is not, because this is their reality.
Back when Krista Fulbright was a high school social studies teacher, she was assigned to teach Medieval History and Geography to students who were English Language Learners (ELL) and that challenge panicked her.
Want to be an advocate for language-minority students? This National Education Association guide offers strategies, resources, and step-by-step instructions for navigating the real-life issues educators encounter every day.