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Educating Language Minority Learners in the U.S. Seminar 1 February 4, 2008 Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez Harvard Graduate School of Education Gutman 303.

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Presentation on theme: "Educating Language Minority Learners in the U.S. Seminar 1 February 4, 2008 Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez Harvard Graduate School of Education Gutman 303."— Presentation transcript:

1 Educating Language Minority Learners in the U.S. Seminar 1 February 4, 2008 Jeannette Mancilla-Martinez Harvard Graduate School of Education Gutman 303

2 Seminar 1: Educating L2 Learners in the U.S. Seminar 2: Pedagogical Models Seminar 3: Reading Words & Comprehending Text Seminar 4: Vocabulary & Academic Language Seminar 5: Spelling, Grammar, & Writing Seminar 6: Disability vs. Exposure

3 Language Minority (LM) Learners Refers to individuals from homes where a language other than a societal language is actively used, who therefore have had the opportunity to develop some level of proficiency in a language other than a societal language. A language-minority student may be of limited second-language proficiency, bilingual, or essentially monolingual in the second language. August & Hakuta, 1997

4 Terminology Societal/national/official language ESL: English as a Second Language EFL: English as a Foreign Language ELL: English Language Learners LEP: Limited English Proficient L1: First Language L2: Second Language

5 Societal/national/official language Societal language One, often one of several, of the languages used in a country National language A language considered to be the chief language in a country Official language A language mandated for use in official government transactions and communications, in courts of law, and in laws and regulations governing the nation as a whole August & Shanahan, 2006

6 English as a Second Language (ESL) Students whose native language is not English and are learning English as a second language in an English speaking country

7 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Students whose native language is not English and are learning English in a non-English speaking country

8 English-language Learners (ELL) Students whose native language is not English

9 Limited English Proficient (LEP) Term often used in state and federal regulations to refer to English Language Learners (ELLs)

10 Background Characteristics Some have strong academic preparation; others arrive with limited formal schooling 20% of all ELLs at the high school level and 12% at the middle school level have missed 2 or more years of schooling since age 6 (Ruiz deValesco & Fix, 2000) Not necessarily literate in their first language Gaps in educational background; school routines, expectations

11 Immigrant Children vs. Children of Immigrants Immigrant Children Born outside the U.S. Children of Immigrants U.S.-born to immigrant parents 61% live in households where one or both parents are non-citizens

12 Growing Population of Immigrant Families 5 states with most rapid growth between 1990-2000: North Carolina (270%) Nebraska (269%) Arkansas (244%) Nevada (236%) Georgia (210%)

13 4 th Grade Reading: Non-ELLs vs. ELLs 50 th %ile 18 th %ile

14 8 th Grade Reading: Non-ELLs vs. ELLs 50 th %ile 14 th %ile

15 BICS and CALP BICS = Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (2 years) CALP = Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (at least 5 years) Essentially underscoring the distinction between conversational fluency and grade- appropriate academic proficiency Cummins, 1979


17 Threshold Hypothesis Aspects of bilingualism which might positively influence cognitive growth are unlikely to come into effect until the child has attained a certain minimum (or threshold) level of competence in the L2 Cummins, 1978

18 Developmental Linguistic Interdependence A child’s L2 competence is partly dependent on the level of competence already achieved in the L1 at the time when intensive exposure to L2 begins Believes there is a common underlying cognitive/academic proficiency which is common across languages, and which makes transfer of literacy-related skills from L1 to L2 possible Experience with EITHER can promote development of the other, given adequate motivation and exposure Cummins, 1978

19 Common Underlying Proficiency (CUP) Cummins, 1984

20 Political Issues Demographic change immigration, ethnicity, language shift in political power Increasing enrollment of ELLs More than doubled in the past decade Power relations: Societal languages, colonial languages, indigenous languages Finances Quality of education literacy of the population

21 Policy and Practice Influencing Factors: Political leadership Immigration patterns Supreme court rulings Language debates Research

22 1850-99 1900-09 1920-29 1940-49 1960-69 1970-79 Bilingual Education state laws German Bilingual Education; from 1910- 1919 = anti- German sentiment & language restrictions English only laws in 15 states after the war Adult/child ESL classes Bilingual Research; Bilingual Education Act signed into law Lau v. Nichols; Office of Civil Rights Task Force Visits

23 1980s 1984 1990-99 2000-present day Demographic shifts; Population of L2 speakers = 40% in US Ron Unz; Prop 227 English-only programs accepted under mandate of bilingual education; U.S. English & English First groups Prop 203; Question 2; NCLB

24 Policy & Practice Today Phase of English-only activism e.g. English for the Children Based on concerns about bilingual education ‘Rights’ of children associated with English learning Length of time vs. quality of English learning

25 Policy & Practice Today Class sizes Native language proficiency Shortages of bilingual teachers Overall academic performance Demographics Community goals Resources

26 Banning Bilingual Education California (1998) Arizona (2000) Massachusetts (2002) These states account for more than one-half of non-native English speakers

27 California The way it was Bilingual education implemented for nearly 30 years in CA

28 California The battle begins The 1990s 1992: Governor Wilson vetoes new bilingual education bill, arguing it would limit the flexibility of local school boards 1996: Four school districts granted “waivers” by State Board of Education exempting them from compliance with the provisions of the Bilingual Education Act

29 California 1998 “English for the Children” (Proposition 227) wins with 61% of vote All children in CA public schools to be taught in English to learn English Sheltered English immersion for English learners should not exceed 1 year during the transitional period

30 California Most recently 1999: State Board of Education eliminates the redesignation criteria so each of the 1,000 districts required to set own criteria for classifying students as Fluent English Proficient (FEP) Proportion of ELLs receiving bilingual instruction dropped from 30% to 8%, proportion receiving SDAIE increased Little or no evidence of differences in EL performance by model of instruction across all analyses in 2003-2004 Likelihood of ELL meeting linguistic and academic criteria needed to reclassify them to fluent English proficient status after 10 years is less than 40%

31 Arizona The way it was 16% ELLs Only 30% of students eligible for language services were involved in true bilingual education programs

32 Arizona 2000 “English for the Children” (Proposition 203) wins with 63% of vote One year of English immersion instruction

33 Massachusetts The way it was MA first state in nation to enact bilingual education (1971) 3% of ELLs in K-12 students served by bilingual classes Bilingual program “trigger” = 20 students of a single language group district-wide

34 Massachusetts 2002 English Immersion- English only (Question 2) wins with 68% of vote Non-English speakers in English immersion classes for 1 year, then mainstreams Teachers can use ‘minimal amount’ of student’s native language Teacher can be sued for ‘willfully and repeatedly’ violating Question 2 Students can sign waivers if they are 10 years or older or for other ‘academic needs

35 Massachusetts Most recently MA Legislature voted to allow two-way bilingual programs to continue under English immersion mandate. Two-way immersion classes allow English and non- English speaking children to learn each other’s languages simultaneously. Program popular, but serve a very small fraction of the 51,000 ELL in the state. Gov. Romney vetoed this legislation, but House and Senate overrode his vetoes. This legislation counters Question 2’s intention of limiting bilingual ed to older students.

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