English Language Learner

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Some reports portray English language learners as a new and homogenous population. Actually ELLs are a highly heterogeneous and complex group of students, with diverse gifts, educational needs, backgrounds, languages, and goals. An English language learner is an individual that is of another culture and has migrated to America to live, learn, become educated and find a career. English language learners have been coming to America and continue to migrate here more and more. Most of them speak different languages as Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and other languages. Students in today’s society, of all ages and cultures, are provided by the law equal access to a quality education. Voter driven initiatives/laws relating to English language learners have brought about great changes in education in the schools of today.

Over the last 40 years, U.S English language education has been shaped by a variety of legal and legislative decisions. The states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Oregon have debated and voted on and these voters have been asked to make decisions about the education of the English language learners (Mora, 2009). Only three states, California (1998), Massachusetts (2002), and Arizona (2000) passed the laws for English-only learners to be put in programs, and Colorado (2002) and Oregon (2008) rejected the initiatives of the ballot (Mora, 2009).The voters that were against having bilingual education for the students were part of the English only group. In today’s society, policies are designed to put education laws into place. Standards for teachers as well as educational standards for students are enforced by schools to make sure students are offered a quality education. Much debate lies in the cultural and sociological impact this initiative has on families and children of English language learners. Those who argue in favor believe that it is vital for English language learners to become proficient in the...
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