Education Week’s top English-language-learner stories of 2019 explored who’s teaching the nation’s English-learners and the struggles those educators encounter on the job, examined why more schools in the United States are embracing bilingualism, and delved into how the Trump administration’s immigration policies affect students, families, and educators.
1. The Value of Bilingualism
The spread of the “seal of biliteracy"—a seal affixed to the diplomas or transcripts as official proof that students can speak, read, and write in more than one language—raises a question: bilingualism for whom? English-learners and students from low-income families may be on the wrong side of an opportunity gap, with their chances to demonstrate their bilingualism restricted by their circumstances.
For more reporting and reports on the seal of biliteracy, you can read these stories:
2. English-Learners and Special Education
Many English-learners and students with disabilities spend lots of time in general education classes, but teachers lack training in how to meet their needs.
For more reporting and reports on English-learners and special education, you can read these stories:
3. Who’s Teaching the Nation’s English-Learners?
School districts try ‘grow your own’ programs develop a workforce to better mirror the student body.
For more reporting and reports on who’s teaching English-learners, you can read these stories:
4. Migrant Children and Immigration
Educators in schools across the United States work to support migrant students who’ve recently arrived from Central America. But former Education Week correspondent Kavitha Cardoza found that the intensity of their needs can be a strain.
For more reporting on migrant children and immigration policies, read these stories:
5. Bias and English-Learners
New research suggests that English-language-learner classification has a “direct and negative effect on teachers’ perceptions of students’ academic skills.”
For more reports and reporting on how bias can affect English-learners, read this story:
Photo Credit: Adrian Galvan, left, is a bilingual paraprofessional at Lyman Hall Elementary School in Hall County, Ga. He is part of program that aims to recruit teacher-candidates who reflect the ethnic and linguistic diversity of the student population.
--Nicole Craine for Education Week
Illustration by Matt Huyn
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.