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The Effectiveness Of English Language Learners Programs

1620 words - 7 pages

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 program, best known as the 4-hour English Language Development block, was designated to accelerate the learning of English language in which the model was set forth in to Arizona law in hopes that ELL’s would become fluent or proficient in English in one year (Aguilar, Canche, Moll, 1). With such being said, English is one of the hardest, second languages to learn, which makes learning the new language in one year next to impossible. Some feel that SEI is just a band aid for the state of Arizona to not deal with the bigger issue in which there are those who believe that the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is trying to segregate students for half of their day with the same group and the same teacher. To illustrate, a teacher from Independence High School explained that such format does not require much; every educator who graduates from college is simply required to take only one ELL class that is 3 hours. In a study that was conducted in California, data that was collected from the National Center for Education Statistics showed that only 12.5 percent of teachers received more than eight hours of training over a three-year period; such is simply not enough (Shreve,2). In the study, many teachers contested that a couple...

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