January 17, 2011

State-Mandated English Policy Under Fire In Arizona

From http://www.npr.org/2011/01/04/132655441/state-mandated-english-policy-under-fire-in-arizona

State-Mandated English Policy Under Fire In Arizona
by Claudio Sanchez
January 4, 2011

There are 150,000 schoolchildren in Arizona who don't know English. They're labeled ELLs — English-language learners. For four hours a day, ELLs are drilled on vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar.

Up until the late 1990s, schools in Arizona relied on various approaches to teaching English-language learners. Bilingual education was especially popular, although with mixed results, so it was banned in 2000.

In its place, the state mandated a highly prescriptive four-hour block called Structured English Immersion that some teachers today call inadequate.

"I think the four-hour block really is limiting for teachers," says first grade ELL teacher Darlene Galindo. "I think that it's limiting for students. I don't necessarily agree with it." As far as Galindo is concerned, it's a law meant to be broken.

Read or listen to the full story at http://www.npr.org/2011/01/04/132655441/state-mandated-english-policy-under-fire-in-arizona

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