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Paper Topic:

ELL FAMILIES AND SCHOOLS

Introduction

According to Goldenberg (2007 , the population of ELL families living in the United States has increased by 150 since 1990 . This trend will continue to be observed as an estimated increase of over 30 is expected in the next four years . In the city of New York , over a hundred different languages represent classrooms in public school . This phenomenon is rapidly becoming norm in several areas of the country Over 25 of students in public schools in California are ELL , in Minnesota this number is 23 (Filart , 2006 . The most common

languages spoken by students in American classrooms are Spanish , Cantonese Mandarin , and a few other Chinese dialects , Korean , Haitian-Creole , and Russian . With large numbers of immigrants settling into urban areas and entering their children into the American Public School System Goldenberg also found that learning English is their primary concern ELL learners tend to lag behind academic achievement on virtually any measure

Over the years , ELL research has been largely an ideological attempt to fuse English use with learners ' natural language without sacrificing cultural identity . This has caused it to be dominated by debates on what is or are the most applicable medium /media of instruction . There have been no breakthroughs in the field since its popularity in the mid 90s and most results have been inefficient to meet acceptable student outcomes

ELL families have long expressed their desire for school programs that could help their children adapt to an English speaking environment Thus , the onus to cope falls largely on the shoulders of school administrators and consequently , on the hands of the teachers

Sociocultural influences on ELLs

Past research on ELL summarized in Goldenberg (2007 ) state that there was still substantial first culture influence on ELLs . Since ELL families were usually more tightly bound than typical American families family interactions tend to overwhelm peer group interactions . This meant that more ELLs were spending greater amounts of time in the home than average American students . While popular culture has had a strong impact on ELL , their contributions to English speaking development have been minimal

Bilingualism and home language use

Thus , socio-cultural influences on ELLs made it no surprise for research findings to show that home language use of English has been minimal (Rogers , 2006 . The use in English in ELL homes was found to be only 23 . This trend is lowest in Asian ELL homes at 11 and highest for Hispanics at 37 . This was attributed to cultural factors as well as ELL parents ' own inabilities to speak English . Bilingualism is common in the Public School set-up , this was closely linked to peer group formation based on languages spoken . While prevalence of bilingualism is not seen as a negative factor in effective English instruction for ELLs it is an indicator that ELLs still cannot fully integrate into the public school system 's language of instruction . It was concluded that accommodations were absolutely necessary in to assist ELLs due to language limitations . To this end , teaching first...

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