English As A Second Language

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We are seeing more and more children who come from an increasingly broad range of linguistic, cultural, religious, and academic backgrounds attending American schools (Kim, 2011). As the number of students whose first language is not English increases, programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL), dual language, and other similar programs are being implemented within the school system. Lueck (2010) started noticing that though a large number of these students were enrolling in schools their parents were refusing the language support services the schools offered their children. In order to be allowed entrance into one of the ESL programs students are tested on their English language proficiency with the Ideal Proficiency Test (IPT) as mandated by the Texas Education Agency; also if they score below the 40th percentile on the IOWA Test of Basic Knowledge and Skills. If the students fall within these categories then the parents are notified and they can approve or deny whether their child will receive these services.
According to Lueck (2010), many of these services were being denied for students due to the parents’ lack of knowledge or clarity of the programs. Many of the parents believed that the classes were to be instructed solely in Spanish, not realizing that the ESL programs were to benefit anyone who was acquiring English as a second language. The parents in the Lueck (2010) study were educated about the programs throughout the school year, and towards the end their attitudes started to a more positive view. They described the process to be admitted into the program as promptly, thoroughly, accurately, and professionally administered (Lueck, 2010).
This study was biased due to its small population and it did not in...

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...ams. Being informed about ESL programs can benefit the student as well as the parent.
Cassity and Harris (2000) also give out some helpful recommendations to increase parent involvement such as (1) conducting home visits when culturally appropriate, (2) scheduling conferences at regular and consistent intervals, (3) if it’s possible providing transportation for important events, (4) reaching out to the parents in their native language, (5) engaging in the parents education, (6) being flexible with the time the parents can attend, and lastly (7) celebrating the community’s diverse cultures and traditions. Demonstrating these practices will show the parents respect as well as show your interest in the child’s education making them want to participate more. As parents and teachers come together they can create an educational environment that suits every child’s need.
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