[lg policy] Learning the Language (fwd)

listman at listserv.linguistlist.org listman at listserv.linguistlist.org
Tue Jun 2 21:34:49 UTC 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 14:43:46 -0400
From: Harold Schiffman <hfsclpp at gmail.com>
Reply-To: Language Policy List <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
To: lp <lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu>
Subject: [lg policy] Learning the Language

Learning the Language

Mary Ann Zehr is an assistant editor at Education Week. She has
written about the schooling of English-language learners for more than
nine years and understands through her own experience of studying
Spanish that it takes a long time to learn another language well. Her
blog will tackle difficult policy questions, explore learning
innovations, and share stories about different cultural groups on her

« New Alaska Official to Focus on Rural and Native Issues | Main

What's in a Home-Language Survey--in Arizona?

Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, has
mandated that Arizona schools simplify the home-language survey that
parents fill out when enrolling a child in school from three questions
to one. The move is expected to reduce the numbers of students who are
identified as needing extra help to learn English, according to an
Arizona Republic article published today. Some say that Horne is
trying to save money that would be used to provide that extra help,
but the state schools chief says that isn't true. He contends the
policy will reduce the numbers of students who are unnecessarily
identified as English-language learners.

Typically in schools across the nation, if parents say they speak a
language other than English at home, even if the child's primary
language is English, the school tests that child in English
proficiency. If the child isn't fluent, he or she is placed in
programs to learn English.

Horne is saying that the form must have only one question: "What is
the primary language of the student?" If the answer is "English," the
child will not be tested for proficiency in the language, and thus
will not be eligible for extra help in the language.

The article does a good job in covering the pros and cons of the new
policy. It mentions that a complaint has been filed in the office for
civil rights of the U.S. Department of Education contending that the
policy is discriminatory and asking for an investigation.

N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of
the list as to the veracity of a message's contents. Members who
disagree with a
message are encouraged to post a rebuttal. (H. Schiffman, Moderator)

This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list