It's All About the Law - English Language Learners

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It’s All About the Law – English Language Learners Jennifer L Givens
Grand Canyon University: ESL-523N
May 22, 2013

It’s All About the Law – English Language Learners
Are English language learners a new population? Researchers would like us to believe so but the reality is that they are actually a complex group of students, full of diversity in their educational needs, backgrounds, languages, and goals, who have been coming to the United States for years. An English language learner is a person that is from another culture that has come to the United States to live, learn, become educated and find a career. The United States is known as the melting pot of the world and we will continue to have people of other cultures coming to our country. Most of these immigrants speak different languages. You can walk down the street of most U.S cities and hear Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and other languages. Laws today provide all students in the United States equal access to a quality education no matter what their culture or background may be. Voter driven initiatives and laws have brought about many changes in education in our schools today in regards to our English language learners and how they are taught and expected to learn.
Over the last 40 years we have seen legislative decisions that have shaped education in the United States. In just the last 15 years the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts and Oregon have debated and asked their voters to make decisions regarding the education of ELLs (Mora, 2009). The states of California (1998), Arizona (2000) and Massachusetts (2002) have actually passed laws for English language learners to be put in programs called Structured English Immersion (SEI). Colorado (2002) and Oregon (2008) rejected initiatives on their ballots. (Mora, 2009). The voters in these states were against the dismissal of bilingual education.
So what did these three states do for their ELLs? California was the

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