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Over the past 15 years, school districts across the United States have experienced explosive growth in the immigrant population. The increased enrollment has strained the resources of schools—whether they've had experience with English language learners or not. And as school districts struggle to find additional funding and resources to support this diverse group, they also have to contend with the fact that English language learners fall behind in standardized tests and many are more socioeconomically disadvantaged than their peers.
In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, three guests well-versed in the academic, social, and policy issues surrounding English language learners (ELL) will discuss how we can best meet the needs of these students:
- First, Chris Swanson, director of Education Week's Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, will talk about the 2009 Quality Counts Report which offers a comprehensive examination of ELL students in the United States.
- Next, Margarita Gonzalez Amador, an English Language Program Coordinator for the Los Angeles Unified School District will discuss the ways in which her city is trying to support over 100,000 ELL students.
- Finally, Evangeline Barela, a teacher from Las Cruces Public Schools in New Mexico, will tell us about her district's dual language instruction program.
How are your school and community meeting the needs of English language learners? After listening to the podcast, tell us your thoughts on the Whole Child Blog.