Advocating on Behalf of Bilingual Students Schools throughout the United States educate a growing number of children who are learning English as a second language. These children, also known as “bilingual students,” vary in their degree of English proficiency ranging from not knowing English at all to being highly proficient and native like in both English ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2001
Advocating on Behalf of Bilingual Students
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Silvia Martinez
    Multicultural Practices and Education, ASHA, Rockville, MD
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2001
Advocating on Behalf of Bilingual Students
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, April 2001, Vol. 2, 15-18. doi:10.1044/sbi2.1.15
SIG 16 Perspectives on School-Based Issues, April 2001, Vol. 2, 15-18. doi:10.1044/sbi2.1.15
Schools throughout the United States educate a growing number of children who are learning English as a second language. These children, also known as “bilingual students,” vary in their degree of English proficiency ranging from not knowing English at all to being highly proficient and native like in both English and one or more world languages. They include children who are immigrants, children who are not immigrants, such as some Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and Alaskan Native, who enter the schools with limited language proficiencies to use English for learning. In fact, the number of school-aged English Language Learners (ELL) (1)  in the United States as reported by the State Education Agencies (SEAs) for the 1996–97 school year was 3,452,073 (Macias, R. F., Nishikawa, S., & Venegas, J., 2000). These numbers include both public and nonpublic schools, but are considered a conservative estimate since not all SEAs were surveyed and many jurisdictions do not have accurate accounts of their English language learners. Moreover, the number of English language learning/bilingual students will continue to grow by 10 to 25%. The states with the highest enrollments are California, New York, Florida, and Texas. The five languages most frequently spoken are Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Chinese dialects.
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