The Effectiveness of English Language Learners Programs

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Years after most school districts in the United Stated have initiated some type of “strategy” for educating America’s, increasing ELL population,; questions about how well teachers of English Language Learners (ELL) are being trained and the effectiveness of ELL programs have arisen . For many, such topic may not be as important to some as it is to others. In retrospect, the number of ELL students grows every school year as schools districts absorb the increased enrollment. Based on state-reported data, it is estimated that 4,999,481 ELL students were enrolled in public school (pre-K through grade 12) during the 2003-2004 school year (Mckeon, 1). With this in mind, school districts are still witnessing a tremendous growth of their ELL population as educators prepare for the tidal wave of non-English speakers. Unfortunately, in lieu of the data, school districts are still not ready for the influx of students who are arriving every day, and teachers are not fully prepared. Additionally, many school districts are failing to support their teachers and to evaluate their ELL programs effectiveness. In fact, the lack of success in many ELL programs is due to the insight that many states are implementing programs with no proof that such programs are effective or working. Simply put, many school districts are not evaluating the efficacy of their program, providing support to teachers, and initiating diversity training and skill buildings.
Everywhere in the U.S., ELL students keep coming in as states try to figure out what to do with them. With this in mind, Arizona seems to have provided an example of such problems. In September 2007, the Arizona State Board of Education adopted the Structured English Immersion (SEI) model. The SEI progra...

... middle of paper ... do so. Many want to know why many states ELL programs are not successful. The answer to most of such questions seems to be that no one is keeping up with the needs of an ELL population that is the fastest growing trend. Schools need to monitor their teachers and mentor them until teachers have developed enough expertise to teach a multicultural community. Also, school districts need to improve their educational approaches; using a single strategy will not help everybody. Many believe that using different tools and techniques will impact the states ELL programs tremendously. Moreover, there is enough blame to go around when it comes to the ELL programs but many believe when states evaluate their school districts and school districts train their teachers with the appropriate materials and resources, most surmise that the benefits will be realized in the classroom.
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