English Language Learning - Essay Example

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English language learners are children of newly arrived immigrants in the US, refugees from war-torn countries or immigrants with a language other than English spoken at home. Whatever the circumstances that drove these families to make the US their new home, their children have even varying levels of education in their primary language, such that their ability to learn English fast and efficiently as their chief means of assimilating into American society becomes an extremely challenging task for the US school system…
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English Language Learning
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Download file to see previous pages The projection is that by 2015 over 50 percent of all students in K-12 public schools across the US will be ELL students, boosting the number of this school population that has the highest dropout rate and the lowest ranking in academic achievement and expectations. The phenomenon necessarily speaks ill of the American public school system.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was enacted precisely to address the problems being encountered by ELL students across the US, so that the educational system smoothens rather than retards their acculturation process. Among the salient features of the NCLB law is the provision that makes parental involvement a key component in the educational efforts to serve ELL needs. It defines parental involvement in children education as a regular, two-way and meaningful communication between parents and schools to ensure that parents are full partners in their children's educational experience. The NCLB includes testing requirements for ELLs. These test scores may be factored into the determination of whether a school is making adequate yearly progress. (Gray & Fleischman, 2005)
The problem is that in some ...
This explains the lack or at least low level of interest of most parents in the education process for their children (Gray & Fleischman, 2005). The NCLB Act makes it imperative upon the schools to overcome this cultural barrier to ELL (Tuite, 2003) by establishing means of communication with the parents. The schools could invite the parents of immigrant families to such school activities like classroom demonstrations of their culture or awarding for children's accomplishments. In communicating and coordinating with parents, it was suggested that the schools use the immigrants' language and may thus need to hire special translators for the purpose (Gray & Fleischman, 2005). Otherwise, this may reinforce another perception common to immigrant parents in America that has to do with the issue of power. A common perception among immigrant parents is that English is the language of a rich and powerful postindustrial society, whereas their native language is less impressive and commands less respect (Walqui, 2000). Language learning, according to experts, is an interactive activity as dependent on social context as it is on cognitive transfer.

All parents have the rights to choose the instructional program that best meets their child's needs, this choice to be indicated in writing. For the first three years, students may be enrolled in a bilingual, dual or English-as-secondary-language program. Afterwards, the parents may elect to continue with the program or change to the mainstream classroom. This choice shall be made at an orientation session at the start of the school year, which focuses on orienting parents to the school system, explaining to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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