This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the premiere legislation to begin the dismantling of discrimination in the United States. Although its immediate effects were first felt amongst African Americans and women, it later reached out to other minorities. Moreover, this act set the tone for future legislation for providing equality and justice in all sections of society, including education. Felt first in the south where it invalidated Jim Crow laws, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 eliminated discrimination in government, employment, and public settings. (Minchin, 2008)
The Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1974 outlawed discrimination against students and faculty/staff in U.S. schools. This federal law also prohibits racial segregation. Under this law, schools must also work to provide equal participation of students in all school settings.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 secured extended civil rights to those with disabilities. This act took effect in both school and the work place. In schools, this act stipulates that special study areas and help must be made available for each student's special need. This act also reaches out to students with speech, hearing, or vision disabilities. Section 504 requires that schools and public faculties who receive any form of federal financial assistance must remain in full compliance of this act in order to receive federal assistance. (Guide to Disability Rights Law)
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 was an act of congress affecting students in public schools throughout all 50 states. This act requires schools to provide a standard based education to students from grades K-12. Moreover, schools must comply with this act in order to be eligible for federal funding. Although this act sets no national achievement standard, it does, however, require each state to set its own standard. Many have criticized this law because they believe that there is no "one size fits all" solution for improving education.
On May 25, 1970, the U.S. Department of Health, Education and issued a memorandum (commonly known as "The May 25 Memorandum") that directed schools to resolve English language deficiencies amongst "national origin minority group" students when their English deficiencies prevents them from receiving and participating in K-12 public school programs. This memorandum was later offered by the plaintiffs of the Law v. Nichols case in 1974. Consequently, many have concluded that this memorandum provided the initial impedance for later Federal and state statutes addressing rights for ELL instruction for all students. Although this memorandum initially addressed English language learning rights for foreign origin students, it does, now however, address the rights of all LEP students whether they be foreign or natural born.
Lau v. Nichols. In 1974, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, ruled that equal opportunity in education was not tantamount to equal access. This ruling stems from a complaint filed by the parents of a Chinese immigrant student who, not knowing any English, was nonetheless placed in classes where the instruction, books, and material were only in English.
Although the student was being provided the same instruction, resources, and environment as his mainstream English speaking peers (equal opportunity), he was nonetheless denied equal access to "any meaningful" education because he could not understand the language of instruction.
Although this ruling offers no specific remedies, it does nevertheless mandate English language instruction for LEP students. In addition, the Lau v. Nichols decision opened the way for future rulings and laws that provide specific directives for ESL/ELL programs at the K-12 (public) school level.
Castaneda v. Pickard (1981) was a decision handed down by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (Texas Area). Seen as a direct follow - on to the Lau v. Nichols decision, this act defined a "three-pronged" standard that would insure that ELL students have an "equal and meaningful" exposure to English learning.
Districts and schools will be in full compliance to Castaneda v. Pickard if : 1) their ELL/ ESL program is based on sound education theory that can be backed up with empirical evidence; 2) ELL/ ESL programs provide both adjacent resources and personal. That is, a science or any other subject matter book must be designed for ELL's , and not be the same book or material used in a mainstream English class. Moreover, either the teachers or instructional aides must also be proficient in the student's L 1. When a student's L 1 is rare such as Hmong, or an Eastern European language like Albanian, the district must seek out members from the community who share the same L1 as the ESL student; and 3) regularly scheduled evaluations must be conducted that demonstrate the success of the ELL program. When programs are shown (through empirical evidence) to be deficient, a district must make adjustments that demonstrate that "language barriers are being overcome."
Plyler v Doe, (1982) declared that undocumented foreign born students have the same right to a K-12 education as do U.S born and legal foreign born students. Moreover, schools and their employees are forbidden to require students to prove their legal immigration status. In addition, schools must not record any student's immigration status.
Diana vs. State Board of Education, CA 70 RFT (1970), in this decision the California State Court ruled that a school district in Monterey County, Ca had inaccurately determined Spanish speaking students as mentally retarded after the students completed IQ tests in English. The state of California ruled that schools could not use "culturally biased tests or tests administered in English" as a means to place non- English speaking students into special education classes.
The Eliezer Williams v State of California was a class action suit filed in 2000. One hundred minority students from various schools in the San Francisco area alleged that they were denied full access to decent school settings where books and resources were soundly inferior to those present in nearby more efficient mainstream schools. In addition, it was revealed that the schools lacked qualified teaches in comparison to the nearby more efficient mainstream schools. In school 2004, the court finally ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, resulting in over $138 million being designated for books and resources for schools ranking 1st and 2nd in Deciles of an "Academic Performance" index base. Another $50 million was set aside to implement and provide over-sight for these schools. Later another $800 million was designated for the critical repair of schools throughout the state.
Larry P. v. Riles was another class action suit file in California in 1984.
Like the Eliezer Williams case, which addressed I.Q. testing, the plaintiffs instead were young African American students who had been inappropriately placed in "Educable Mentally Retarded (EMR)" classes due to their score on an I.Q. test. The court ruled that the tests were culturally biased against black children. Moreover, a disproportionate number of African Americans had been assigned to EMR instruction. Furthermore, this ruling prohibited California schools from using any one Standard I.Q. test to be used for Special Education placement of black children. Instead a comprehensive set of tests were required to be used for I.Q. testing.
Like the Diana case which protected Mexican American students, Larry P. v. Riles went further by requiring districts to justify any disproportionate number of minorities in Special Education and also required that I.Q. testing be validated for each respective cultural group.
English Language in Public Schools Initiative (Proposition 227). This California Statute requires that instruction be conducted in English for all grades K-12. It does, however, allow Sheltered English instruction for non English speaking students. In this scenario, the teacher will first provide instruction in English, and if need be, follow up with L1 scaffolding.
This statute allows for parents to apply for a waiver when their child would learn English faster through other more individualized means.
When placement in a mainstream English class would prevent full access to an education, students can be placed in an intensive sheltered English immersion setting for a period not exceeding one year.
Prohibition against Discrimination or Preferential Treatment by state and other Public Entities (1996) (Proposition 209). This statute prevents schools, colleges, and government from providing preferential treatment to a person or group based on race, gender, or ethnicity. Such preferential treatment includes school admissions and public contracting.
Seen by many as an attack on existing equal opportunity programs, this statute, nonetheless has survived legal challenges.
Chacon- Moscone Bilingual Bicultural Education Act (1976). This California law required the implementation of Bilingual instruction at the K-12 levels. Under this law districts are required to provide certificated bilingual teachers for schools that have at least 10 LEP students of the same grade level. When there are less than 10 LEP per grade, a school must instead provide individual instruction as needed.
In California there are many ways how an ELL teacher can assist with designing ESL/ELL programs. First and foremost, one must recognize and understand the state guidelines. In addition, a teacher should also have a basic understanding of state and federal laws.
In California there is the English Language Development Standard for California Public Schools (K-12). These standards stipulate how LEP/ELL students should move from being a non English speaker to becoming fully fluent in English. By following the English Language Development Standards for California Public Schools (K-12), a teacher can adequately advise the administration on how to design and implement an ESL program that meets state laws and guidelines. Another tool would be to follow the three pronged approach as can be seen in the Castaneda V. Pickard decision. Most importantly, however, educators must recognize the factors that should dictate the design of their district's ESL/ELD program. Accordingly, one must recognize the several variables that could influence their program.
The following variables include: 1) overall ESL/ELL student body; 2) individual ESL/ELL characteristics; 3) Resources and personal available.
Overall ESL/ELL student body. In California, many assume that most of our LEP population is Mexican American. Indeed, this is true in many districts along the border and in some scattered areas throughout the state. However, in large cities such as Los Angeles and as well as others throughout the state, LEP students of other ethnic groups exist, with Asian, African and even European students making up a large portion of some districts' LEP population. Moreover, districts with large Latino LEP students also include children from Central America and Southern Mexico who do not speak Spanish, but instead an indigenous language.
Throughout the nation, there are districts that report having over 100 language group being spread from grades K-12, with as few as three distributed in each grade level. These above characteristics affect how schools and districts distribute their faculty and allocate their resources.
Individual ESL/ELL characteristics: Some students enter an ESL/ELL program with strong L1 skills. These students have already progressed in their home country's school system. They can read, write and properly speak their L1. Moreover, in some cases they are more proficient in math and science than are their mainstream English speaking contemporaries. On the other hand, there are ESL/ELL students who enter our schools with little or no exposure to formal education. These students often lack the ability to proper read or write in their L1. In these cases schools must spend more time and resources to bring these students up not only in English but also in the subject matter areas of math and science. (Ovando and Collier, 1985)
For example, after having taught English at Calexico High School for over 10 years, I noticed a great difference between the ESL students at Calexico High School and Live Oak High School (Morgan High, CA), where I had later taught. Calexico is located right across the border from Mexicali, B.C., Mexico. Education is more available (and more valued) in Mexico's industrial north. Consequently, over 25% of Mexicali's population possesses a university degree. Moreover, a good many have graduate level degrees.
As an English teacher at Calexico High, I not only found highly motivated students but also fully supportive parents. Indeed, learning English and attaining an education were highly sought after by most of the people along the border.
In contrast, at Live Oak High School, most of the ESL students were from the central and southern states of Mexico where education is less available than it is in the northern states. These students lacked motivation for higher education. Furthermore, many lacked a basic knowledge of their own native language and history. Some didn't even know the difference between the front and the back of a book! Their parents weren't much help either.
During one student/parent/teacher conference, while being informed of his son's serious lack of motivation to learn English, the father responded to the son: "No te preocupes hijo, siempre hay trabajo en el Jack-in-the-Box o un carrocero." (Don't worry son, there's always work at Jack-in-the-Box or an auto body repair shop.)
Available resources and personnel. Finding certificated L1/L2 speakers to teach ESL/ELL is much less of a problem in districts where most of the LEP students are L1 Spanish speakers. Moreover in most of Southern California there is an ample pool of Spanish speaking paraprofessionals and pre teacher undergraduates to provide back up in the classroom.
However, in districts where there is a most diverse group of LEP students, administrators find it difficult, if not impossible to fill ESL/ELL teaching positions with Hmong and other indigenous speakers. Often, in these cases schools are forced to rely on members from the community to provide volunteer or paraprofessional service. However, many of these schools have achieved success in this area by establishing good working relationships with churches and community groups where their students and their parents are active.
Classroom space has always been a challenge for on site administrators. Many districts are forced to fall back on mobile trailers to supplement classroom facilities. Some teachers are forced to "rove" from classroom to classroom, teaching in separate settings dependent on prep period vacancies. Having to teach in a classroom normally designated for math makes it difficult for an ESL/ELL teacher to decorate the class with visual aids. Moreover, making a library or other resources available in the classroom is impossible. Some districts in California have gained access to Federal funding, which has made it possible for them to construct additional classroom spaces.
There are two basic types of ESL programs in California: 1.) Stand Alone ESL and 2.) ESL Plus. Stand alone ESL programs are generally linguistic based, with much of the instruction presented in the same manner as a foreign language class. In stand alone English classes, the students are taken out of a mainstream English environment and provided instruction in and about English in a special manner, the means for which varies and will be explained in further detail later in this paper. (California State dept. of Education, 1987)
Stand alone ESL instruction usually occurs for one to three hours daily. However, in some cases this instruction can occur only a few times a week.
Like stand alone ESL, ESL Plus provides a means for linguistic instruction in and about English. However, there can be content - area instruction in an ESL Plus environment. Moreover, content area instruction can occur in both the students' L1 and English.
ESL plus programs entail most of the students' school day. Many schools offer ESL plus as the entire instructional program for ESL/ ELL students.
Examples of stand alone ESL/ELL programs.
Pull out: In this type of program, an ESL student is taken out (pulled out) of a regular mainstream English environment for special and sometimes individualized ESL/ELL instruction. Often a designated classroom is used for this instruction given that there are at least 10 students. When the number of ESL students falls below eight students, often a special setting (such as the library) can be used. In other cases when the number of ESL students is low, district will hire a teacher to travel between schools. (Chamot and Stewner-Manzanares,1985)
The teacher is not required to be bilingual when various non Spanish speaking ESL students exist. However, it is always recommended that bilingual paraprofessionals be on hand to assist certificated personnel with translations and/or scaffolding. (O'Malley and Waggoner, 1984)
Pull out programs primarily exist at the elementary level.
Class Period: This type of program provides for ESL/ELL instruction to occur during a regular class period, and is most common at the jr. and sr. high school levels. In this setting, students receive regular grades and credit as they would in any other content area course. (California State Dept. of Education, 1987)
Students are typically placed accordingly to their level of understanding of English. For example, at Calexico High School there are three levels of ESL instruction: 1.) ELD 1(beginners), 2.)ELD 2 (intermediate), and 3.) ELD 3 (advanced).
Students remain at one level each year. However, nearly half of the ELD 3 students matriculate to regular English 12 classes their senior year. Teachers are not required to be bilingual in a Class Period setting. Nevertheless, all of Calexico High School ELD 1 and 2 teachers were fluent Spanish speakers. Normally, non Spanish speaking faculty were employed at the ELD 3 level.
Resource Center: This is an enhanced version of the Pull out Method. In this setting, students are pulled out of class, and some cases from other schools in order to participate in an extended time frame. Here students go to a designated area, which is usually a classroom, where books and resources are readily available for ESL instruction in English, and sometimes the content areas. Typically a credentialed ESL teacher will remain in The Resource Center.
Teachers are not required to be bilingual. However, most are in Spanish speaking LEP dominated schools. . (California State Dept. of Education, 1987)
Examples of English - Plus Programs-
There are two common types of Bilingual Education Programs in California: 1) Early transition and, 2) late transition. Both types occur in levels K-12. The goal for both is to matriculate an ELL student into a mainstream English setting within a three year time frame . Students move forward according to their oral skills in an early transition program. In addition, this type of program usually exists at the elementary level. (Seelye and Navarro, 1977)
In a late transition setting, matriculation requirements are stricter and require a student to prove English proficiency not only orally but also in reading and writing, at a level that would guarantee success in both English and content area courses. (Hernandez-Chavez,1984)
Late transition programs usually exist at the Jr. and Sr. High school levels. L1 instruction occurs in both early and late transition programs where students are grouped according to their L1/L2 levels.
Aside from L1/L2 language instruction, students also receive instruction in the content areas from bilingual teachers.
Structured Immersion programs have been around for decades in California. In this scenario, teachers provide content area instruction in English while using the L1 as a scaffolding tool. Most often the teachers are bilingual.
"Comprehensible input" is used for content area instruction when various L1 languages are represented by the ESL/ ELL students. Here, English is used as a common ground through use of key words that are understood by all the students.
Sheltered English programs operate much the same through the use of "comprehensible input". However, teachers need not be bilingual, yet usually are when the primary L1 is Spanish. Again, students can question in their L1 while the teacher answers/responds in English. Sheltered English instruction is present in both English and content area classes at usually the Jr. and Sr. high schools levels.
Shelter English instruction can occur in part or all of the school day. Often, ESL/ELL students with strong L1 and native content area proficiency attend mainstream English instruction in math while receiving Shelter English instruction in English/ESL classes.
High Intensity Language Training (HILT) occurs typically at the high school level. In this type of setting, students from various L1s attend classes for at least half of the school day where they receive intense ESL/ELL instruction. The ultimate goal for this type of program is to matriculate students as quickly as possible into mainstream English classes.
At first, students are gently transitioned into less linguistically demanding mainstream classes such as P.E., art, and vocational education. Eventually, students are transitioned into stronger, linguistically demanding content area courses as math, science, and social studies. Eventually, HILT students will have matriculated into a mainstream English class once they approach full fluency.
HILT instruction provides for ESL instruction in both English and the content areas. Here teachers are usually highly trained in ESL/ELL, yet are not so often bilingual.
There is no one perfect design for ESL/ELL instruction. As can be seen in the aforementioned, countless variables exist throughout the state and the nation. Although many laws address ESL/ELL instruction, schools are nonetheless encouraged and are free to follow sound, empirically proven education theory.
Much has been written since the 1980's addressing ESL/ELL instruction. Moreover, ESL/ELL educational theory will continue to evolve with the needs of our ever changing LEP population.
For understanding the needs of their school in meeting ELL requirements, teachers and administrators must first recognize both federal and state guidelines.
When addressing federal guidelines, educators must first recognize what is laid out in Title VI (Civil Rights Act). This act clearly states that schools must assure that all children, regardless of their race be provided equal access to an education, as would any other group of students in their district.
In addition to Title VI, other laws and decisions later followed. For example, both Lau v. Nichols and Castaneda v. Pickard (both described earlier in this paper) give a more defined direction for schools to follow.
Nevertheless, after having recognized and understood the federal guidelines, Educators must look more closely at their respective state laws.
In California the Chacon - Moscone Bilingual Bicultural Education Act (1976) clearly sets down the standards for which schools must comply. However, the bill does provide exceptions when circumstances exist.
Moreover, this bill allows for a "flexible bilingual program alternative", ranging from transitional ESL to a "full-maintenance" bilingual education.
This bill clearly calls on districts to offer a program that would take a student from being a non-English speaker to becoming fully fluent.
This law also affords flexibility due to the diverse number of languages represented amongst our LEP population. However, in doing this, Chacon-Moscone requires that schools look closely at each LEP student in order to recognize each child's education level and how best to accommodate the students' needs.
Schools and districts should acquire the following data in order to assure their full compliance to the Chacon- Moscone bill:
How many LEP students are there at each school's grade level (K-12)?
What languages (L1) are represented at each school's grade level (K- 12)?
How are the oral L-1 skills of each student (K- 5)?
How are the oral, written, and reading L-1 skills of each student (6-12)?
At what level are the students' content area skills (6-12)?
When there are at least 10 LEP per grade, are credentialed teachers and proper resources available?
Are there adequate books and resources designed for ESL instruction available? List books and resources per grade.
When there are less then 10 LEP students, does the school provide an alternate means for providing each student full access to a meaningful education? Discuss present accommodations. What can be improved?
What means are used for testing LEPs at each school site? Do tests accommodate each culture? Describe how.
Do testing instruments comply with the Diana V. State Board of Education decision and the Eliezer Williams V. State of California class action suit? Explain how
What L-1 languages are represented by district credentialed personnel?
If an L-1 is not spoken by a district teacher, are their available paraprofessionals?
When an L-1 is not represented by district personnel, are there alternate means for acquiring either part time or volunteers from the community?
Are liaisons in place with local community groups who represent the L-1's not represented by district personnel? List current L-1 liaisons.
Has liaison been established with local colleges and universities in order to acquire undergraduate student volunteers who speak under represented L-1's?
Explain how progress is being measured in order to insure that each student is receiving a meaningful education. Include how students' progress in ELL is being measured.
While implementing a major ESL program, a district must first take a strong look at its LEP population. Most schools along our U.S. southwest border share very similar demographic characteristics. Moreover, there are many scattered enclaves throughout the state of California that share the same.
Along this region, schools have a majority of their students being of Hispanic decent. Moreover, most are LEP Spanish speakers.
Calexico Unified School District, which is located along the U.S./Mexico border, has continually been awarded recognition for its ESL program - El Cid. Like many districts along the border, Calexico contains the following characteristics:
1.) 98% of Calexico's students enter kindergarten knowing little or no English.
2.) 99% of its students are of Mexican decent.
3.) 65% of the district's students are English language learners.
4.) There are over 450 bilingual certificated teachers, with over 400 classified Spanish speaking staff on hand to service over 9,000 students.
5.) Calexico High School has averaged a 93% graduation rate over the past ten years.
6.) Over 80% of Calexico High School's graduates go onto higher education, of whom over 15% enter prestigious universities their freshman year.
Calexico Unified employs a research based, hybrid form of Two-way Bilingual Immersion (TWBI) and Sheltered English/Content Based ESL. All ESL/ELD teachers at CUSD are bilingual and have a Bilingual Cross Cultural Language Acquisition Development (BCLAD) credential. All other district teachers who were hired after 1994 have a Cross Cultural Language Acquisition Development (CLAD) credential. There are a few teachers with an emergency credential. However, all are bilingual.
For students at the K-6 level, Calexico uses Houghton Mifflin theme tests, which are stored in a local data base. This is how they measure their students' English language progress.
Although their aim is for all students to master English, CUSD does, however, stress content area proficiency. In doing this, they start their elementary school students off using a 90 -10 TWBI program (90% of content area instruction is in L1, and 10% in English Language Learning). As students' proficiency in English rises, so changes the ratio from 90 -10 to eventually 50 - 50.
Calexico expects its LEP students to gain English proficiency in five to seven years. However, a good many of Calexico's students have recently immigrated and enter the school system at the jr. and sr. high school level. Because content area proficiency is as important as English language acquisition, many of Calexico's LEP students will continue to receive content area instruction in Spanish well into their senior year of high school.
At Calexico, Spanish is not only important for enhancing content area instruction but also for improving the students' L1. For this reason, Calexico's El Cid program includes a Spanish language development program for its students who have limited Spanish proficiency.
In order to implement a program like Calexico's, schools must have at least one Spanish speaking teacher in the content areas for each grade level. When more than one L1 exists, special planning is required. In cases like this, schools must hire a qualified ESL coordinator. Schools such as in Calexico have numerous Spanish speaking ESL teachers and consequently require fewer coordinators, and in the wider scheme of things, fewer on-site administrators.
Schools implementing programs such as in Calexico require strong means for collaboration between the content areas and ESL teachers. Moreover, the ESL teacher should be prepared to assist with content area instruction. Many, however, of Calexico's content area teachers are bilingual, and require less assistance from the ESL teacher. However, at the high school level, the ESL curriculum should be implemented along the same lines as is the content area curriculum. For example, if sophomore ELDs are attending a History 10 class that focuses on American history, then so should the ELD classes include references to American history (teaching across the curriculum).
In implementing any creditable ESL program, educators must have access to and be able to provide adequate books and resources that are designed for English Language Learners. The Imperial County Office of Education, of which CUSD is a part, sponsors an annual book fair. Here teachers are afforded the opportunity to spend a day at a centralized setting where they can review books and material. At this book fair, teachers are able to interact with vendors. When relevant resources have been located, coordination is made between the vendor and the schools to meet directly at the school setting. Here is when actual book/resource acquisition occurs.
California State Dept. of Education. STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING LANGUAGE PROGRAMS FOR NATIONAL ORIGIN MINORITY STUDENTS (rev. ed.). Sacramento, CA: California State Dept. of Education, 1987. ED 255 034.
Chamot, A. U., and G. Stewner-Manzanares. A SUMMARY OF CURRENT LITERATURE ON ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE. PART C: RESEARCH AGENDA. Rosslyn, VA: InterAmerica Research Associates, 1985. ED 261 539.
Hernandez-Chavez, E. "The Inadequacy of English Immersion Education as an Educational Approach for Language Minority Students in the United States." In STUDIES ON IMMERSION EDUCATION. Sacramento, CA: California State Dept. of Education, 1984.
Minchin, Timothy J., "Making Best Use of the New Laws: The NAACP and the Fight for Civil Rights in the South, 1965-1975," Journal of Southern History, Aug 2008, Vol. 74 Issue 3, pp 669-702
O'Malley, J. M., and D. Waggoner. "Public School Teacher Preparation and the Teaching of ESL." TESOL NEWSLETTER 18 (1984): 1, 18-22.
Ovando, C. J., and V. P. Collier. BILINGUAL AND ESL CLASSROOMS. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985.
Ramirez, J. D. "Comparing Structured English Immersion and Bilingual Education: First Year Results of a National Study." AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION 95 (1986): 122-49.
Seelye, H. N., and B. N. Navarro. A GUIDE TO THE SELECTION OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION PROGRAM DESIGNS. Arlington Heights, IL: Bilingual Education Service Center, 1977.
Valdés, G. and Figueroá. Bilingualism and testing: a special case of bias. Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1994.