This presentation will illustrate the policies and practices that have affected children with limited English-speaking abilities in U.S. classrooms in general and Iowa schools in particular. In 2005 immigrants from non-English speaking countries made up 12.4 percent of the total United States population and that number is only growing (U.S Census Bureau, 2010).
In 1964 the Bilingual Education Act first recognized the need of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students in public schools. In 1974 Lau V. Nichols recognized the Constitutional right for non-English speaking students to receive language assistance in public schools.
However, many United States schools continue to be an unfriendly environment for children who are learning to acclimate to their new society. For example, California’s Proposition 227 (1998) profoundly restricted students’ access to bilingual education in the state.
However, Iowa has seen a large increase in immigration in the past 25 years. Several schools across the state have added English language-learning (ELL) classes and dual-language programs to accommodate non-English speaking students.
This presentation demonstrates how Iowa policies differ from other states in regard to teaching LEP students. Iowa has had a history of accommodation and continues this tradition through its acceptance of limited English speaking students. I argue that schools can do more to accommodate Limited English proficient students in the classroom in order to not only help them learn English, but also be prepared for a life beyond high school in the United States.
Emerson Conlon, ’14
Majors: Spanish, Secondary Ed. Certification
Sponsor: Kathryn Kauper