Bilingual Education

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

What's in a name? Potentially, a lot of damage to self-esteem, argue a growing number of bilingual educators who object to labeling students "limited English proficient."

Several bilingual-education experts sought to sensitize officials of the U.S. Education Department's office of bilingual
education and minority-languages affairs to the issue last week. The forum, fittingly enough, was an event obemla had entitled the ''National Research Symposium on Limited-English- Proficient Students' Issues."

Addressing obemla officials and other colleagues from the field, the experts argued that the lep label emphasizes the limitations of language-minority students and makes them feel inferior to their monolingual English peers, thereby discouraging them in school.

Else V. Hamayan, coordinator of training and services at the Illinois Resource Center in Des Plaines, urged the symposium participants to switch to using the acronym "pep," for "potentially English proficient."

Anne Willig, a bilingual-education expert from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, suggested calling the students "le," for "learners of ' English."

Rita Esquivel, director of obemla, said she had not heard any objections to the l.e.p. label until the symposium, and added that she did not know if she would seek to have her agency use another term. "We have to give it some thought," she said.

Students who are learning English as a second language can significantly improve their

language skills by watching closed-captioned television,
concludes a recent longitudinal study commissioned by the
National Captioning Institute.

Susan Neuman, an associate professor of elementary education at Temple University, conducted the 12-week study involving 129 7th- and 8th- grade students from Asian and Hispanic backgrounds living in Lowell, Mass.

The students were exposed

twice a week to "3-2-1 Contact," the public-televison science series. While one randomly $igned group of children watched the programs on closed-captioned television, a second watched them on regular TV, a third read and listened to texts
of the show, and a fourth simply read the texts.

When administered several written tests of their ability to

Web Only

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >