English Language Learners : A Policy Research Essay

English Language Learners : A Policy Research Essay

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“English Language Learners: A Policy Research Brief produced by National Council of Teachers in English.” The Council Chronicle. National Council of Teachers of Education, Mar. 2008. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. This policy brief produced by the National Council of
Teachers of English gives a history and comprehensive overview of issues associated with ELL students and provides research-based recommendations for effective ELL instruction for teachers. The report states that the “foreign-born population of the U.S has tripled in the past 30 years and more than 14 million are expected to arrive between 2000 and 2010. ELLs are a “highly heterogeneous and complex group of students,” which can create a complex classroom curriculum. Interestly, for over forty years there have been legal and legislative decisions that addressed English language education, which started in 1968 with the Bilingual Education Act (Title VII) acknowledging the “educational challenges faced by ELLs and Allocated funds to support their learning” (3). In 2002, The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act (Title III of NCLB) replaced the Bilingual Education Act. Unfortunately, the NCLB definition of ELL subgroups is vague and as a result, it has led to “inconsistency across districts and schools regarding the designation of ELL” (3). The following myths about ELL students jeopardize the success of these students in the regular classroom. It is believed that ELLs have disabilities, which is why they are often overrepresented in special education, which is many times a result of assessments that do not differentiate between disabilities and linguistic differences. The myth that children learn a second langu...


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... provide effective feedback. Lastly, the authors emphasize that teachers need to understand how language structures and style in written texts affect a student’s comprehension. While the target audience for this position paper is teacher education programs at the university level, the work of Fillmore and Snow is relevant and generative for everyone concerned about language learning and literacy in schools. Fillmore and Snow are two outstanding scholars in language, literacy, and education. Lily Fillmore, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita; Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley. Catherine Snow, Ph.D is a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education and her research has encompassed the fields of linguistics, second languages, communication styles, parent-child language interactions and language skills in at-risk children, to name a few.

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