Refugees and immigrants are not often exposed to the English language in their country and, after arriving in America, they are automatically placed in the English learning classes (ELD); however, majority of the students within the ELD classes speak Spanish which causes the students to feel isolated, resulting in a lack of involvement and understanding of the language. Moreover, the “acquisition of fluency in the host-country language is one of the most important predictors of mental health in refugee children resettled in high-income countries such as the United States” (Trinh). Although the majority within Orange County are mostly Spanish speakers, that does not necessarily mean that school should only provide Spanish translators because there is still about 30 percent of Asians that don't speak English at home ("Languages Other Than English Spoken at Home”). Therefore, schools should adopt more diverse programs that addresses all students rather than a larger focus on Spanish students because it will result in an increase in student participation and better communication between the students and their community. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to attend a better college because they will network with others easily. In addition, the implementation of more challenging assignments and tasks for English learners would greatly improve the success rate of the bilingual students within ELD classes (Hati).
Throughout researching the topics of ELD and communication, many of the articles that were found evidently support the stance that is taken in the first paragraph. There must be a representation of many different languages rather than just Spanish in high schools to ensure success for all students.
The majority of new English speakers in Amterica face language barriers because their languages aren’t represented in different school programs and classrooms. Our research shows that ELD students of other ethnicities are often isolaed because the dominant language is Spanish. The lack of efficient communication between students in ELD is potent to their future as most struggle with college life.
Hati, Haycock, Santelises, Sonja Brookins. "The Window of Assignments." Britannica School, Education Digest, accessed Nov. 2016, Web. 09 Mar. 2017.
"Languages Other Than English Spoken at Home. " Languages Other
Than English Spoken at Home, California Pan-Ethnic Health
Network. n.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.
Trinh, VyVy and Nicole Nugent. "Tutoring and Enrichment for Refugee Youth at BRYTE."
Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, vol. 33, no. 2, Feb. 2017, p. 1.
Behind the Scenes
After being in Western High School for 4 years, we decided to pursue an idea regarding communication, specifically between ELD students and the community. We began our long-term project with our government teacher's assistance to combat the challenges that ELD students face in their daily lives. Through our thorough research (see above), we discovered that many ELD students feel alienated among their fellow peers