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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I am an ELL teacher in an elementary school. I have also taught English Language Learners at the middle school level here. One big point I hope listeners realize is that Federal and State regulations for English Language Learners are not based on language acquisition research. Research shows it takes 7-10 years to learn academic language (which is much more complicated than conversational language). (One famous study is known as the "How Long..." by Thomas and Collier)
The state regulations were formed by a committee looking to appease the "new" (at that time) No Child Left Behind federal expectations. Each state had to submit their plan to get ELLs up to speed. Our "plan" increases the percentage of proficient ELL students every year. So we have a moving target- each year a higher percentage of students have to become academically proficient.
So it is not that Oregon is failing, or that Oregon is getting worse at teaching English to English Language Learners, it is that a state committee picked an arbritrary percentage of students that should "pass" each year and that number continues to increase. It is akin to deciding that the first year we teach Kindergarten 20 percent of students will finish the year reading at a level 5. Then the next year 40 percent, then 60, and then 80. We can't magically make 80 % of Kindergarteners read at a level 5 because someone decided they should be able to.
Teaching English to non-native English speakers is a multi-fauceted, complicated, and politically charged issue. This is just one point I hope to help the listeners understand.
posted 3 years, 4 months ago
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