Legislative effects on ELLs

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In this discussion, our reference case will be Lau V. Nichols, 414 U.S. 563 (1974). This case was before the United States Supreme Court. There were 2856 Chinese students who were orchestrated back to the San Francisco Unified School District. The school provided supplementary English instructions to only 1000 students. The rest were put in separate classes which offered special education, and others were forced to repeat one grade for several years. Such action did not amount to equality of the English Learning Students. The students decided to seek judicial intervention from the Supreme Court, after losing in the district court and in the court of appeal. The court unanimously decided that the school violated the civil rights act of 1964 by denying supplemental language lessons to some students. This amounted to discrimination. This case has been of relevant precedence to ELLs because it echoes what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 dictates..

This case has helped in promoting success of the ELLs by ensuring that they undergo.

Programs that grant them full access to a similar curriculum, just like all native English speakers.

It ensures that the rights to an equal education are not violated. One way that was used in ensuring that education rights are upheld was incorporating bilingual programs (Wright et al, 2016). These programs ensure that students understand academic content in their native language. Thus, learners become competent in English because they have a good understanding of what they are being taught (Pasachoff, 2014). Additionally, when children are given an equal opportunity in school, an enabling environment is created for them to study and work hard. They hence concentrate in their studies and help each other in achieving the best.

This case has helped in improving the education standards of ELLs. From the court’s decision, the school was ordered to pay “appropriate relief” to the students that had suffered discrimination. The cost has created a good leading example that has ensured that schools do not practice such acts. No school would want to suffer loss by compensating students whom it has offended. Moreover, there has been a standard way of assessing students when they are given an equal education program. This ensures that ELLs are graded in the merit that they ought to be graded in. Equality does not leave some students lagging behind what others have learnt. Moreover, an equal system has enabled teachers and ELLs to have a communally agreed target that ought to be met at the end of each grade. This ensures that students and teachers work hard towards achieving the set target. Thus, the standards of education are improved.

However, there are gaps that exist in regard to implementing the jurisprudence of the court and the provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The most controversial gap is how does compensating students with “appropriate relief” help in improving the standards of education? It would be better to term the act as illegal and order the school to restructure it systems to those which ensure all students are treated equally. Additionally, how should parents speak with children at home because they have a native language? It will hence be difficult for the students to completely transit from speaking their native language, to speaking English. This is because what they are taught in school is not what the practice at home. Finally, what is the process for entering and leaving an ELL program? The process should be well stipulated in order to ensure that those exiting the programs are fully-baked (Fatemipour et al, 2015). Exiting should not be done at one’s own free will.

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  1. Pasachoff, E. (2014). Equality, Centralization, Community, and Governance in Contemporary Education Law. Fordham Urb. LJ, 42, 763.
  2. Fatemipour, H., & Hemmati, S. (2015). Impact of Consciousness-Raising Activities on Young English Language Learners’ Grammar Performance. English Language Teaching, 8(9), 1.
  3. Wright, W., & Boun, S. (2016). The Development and Expansion of Multilingual Education in Cambodia: An Application of Ruiz’s Orientations in Language Planning. Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, 33(3).
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