#2: Equity in Education: New Americans and English Language Learners

Right now, I think that I want to focus on young new Americans/immigrants/English language learners in school (I’m thinking K-12, but not definitively). I still have to refine this idea and come up with some concrete research questions, but the idea of equity in education is becoming increasingly important to me, and because I know that that’s an incredibly broad topic I’d like to focus on this aspect of it. I think it’s an important issue now more than ever, and the way Vermont school systems adapt to students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse capabilities and varied understandings of English is incredibly important. I know there’s a UVM professor who’s working with this topic in some capacity (I think she’s focusing on children of non-English speakers becoming translators) and I think that that could be a good resource (hopefully one of many). This is also a place where student interviews could be incredibly powerful.

Clara Lew-Smith

2 Responses to “#2: Equity in Education: New Americans and English Language Learners

  • Stacey Mitchell King
    7 years ago

    Check out this article by Luc Sante. I can email you my annotated article if you like.

    Living in Tongues
    By Luc Sante
    The first thing you have to understand about my childhood is that it mostly took place in another language. I was raised speaking French, and did not begin learning English until I was nearly 7 years old. Even after
    that, French continued to be the language I spoke at home with my parents. (I still speak only French with them to this day.)

    I think many of our schools like the ‘idea’ of equity in education. Until we can look at all of our students as bringing something important to the table, when language is involved, and accept our learners for who they are, we limit ourselves and our ability to improve ourselves.

    This angle, you are looking for may indeed be a help to others.

  • One of the most important issues regarding equity is the different needs of high income and low income students and the important role played by small schools. Today Act 46 puts small schools on the chopping block when a consolidated board has the power to adjust attendance boundaries. Students from less affluent families who need more personalized attendance (usually from small, rural communities) are the big losers.

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