English Language Learners
The vision for the EL Program: To help students to develop positive and realistic self-concepts regardless of their gender, race, national origin or disability. When students see the contributions and perspectives of their group included in the curriculum it connects the learner to the curriculum. It tends to contribute to a higher self-esteem, stimulate greater motivation to learn, and ultimately to higher achievement. When students see the contributions and perspectives of other groups included in the curriculum, it tends to prevent students from developing an inflated sense of self/group superiority, which can contribute to ethnocentric perspectives, paternalism, and subtle forms of racism and sexism over time. It exposes students to the diversity of their country and the world and therefore better prepares them to live and work successfully in a diverse world and a global economy.
In general terms, an English learner is a student who is in the process of acquiring English proficiency and has a first language other than English or in addition to English. The EL status remains with the student until s/he shows English proficiency enabling the student to:
- Listen, speak, read and write in English
- Be successful in the classroom setting where there is language instruction
- Be able to actively participate in his/her classroom, school, community and beyond.
English Learners (ELs) are among the fastest-growing populations in our schools. ELs comprise about 10 percent of the student population nationwide and, Iowa, at over six percent is catching up.