English Only Debate Paper

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English-Only Debate Paper
Amanda M. Pettit
Grand Canyon University
ESL 523N
November 7, 2010

English language learners make up a large percentage of our students today. This percentage is only going to continue to grow more and more every day. This issue as a teacher is very hard to debate because as a teacher I feel that we should want our students to learn as much as possible and understand what they learn regardless of diversity or racial ethnicity. It never occurred to me that this has been an issue for so many years although now it is becoming more of an issue. Just imagine a student sitting in class that speaks English and Spanish, although they speak both languages doesn’t mean that they understand what the context of the books or the class is trying to teach them. This could be very hard for anybody in a similar situation.

This debate has actually existed since the 1800’s. This is when the United States started to experience more immigrants joining us from all around the world. In this being said it means that not all of our non-English speaking students are Spanish speaking. There is a variety of languages. For example as of today I have French, Spanish, and English speaking children in my own three year old classroom, and in other area’s it is going to be more likely to have even a wider range of non-English speaking children.

In 1964 Title VI of the Civil Rights Act had been interpreted to prohibit denial of equal access to education, although the Act states that “Title VI prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, color, or national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance”. This should mean that financial assistance should be available for whatever is necessary for any student to receive the best education possible regardless of language.

In 1968 and revisited in 1994 Title VII finally recognized the unique disadvantages of the students that were of the non-English language learners and decided that...
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