Where Education and Assimilation Collide

Nearly two-thirds of English learners are second or third generation Americans born in the United States. Those numbers have seen a huge spike in the last twelve years. These students, called English Language Learners, make up the fastest growing group of students in the country. In the last few years, these students have been thousands strong in rural towns and suburban districts which are all equipped to deal with their needs—states like Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina.

Questions to consider;
1. Some say the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it; do you agree?
2. What are the disadvantages to separating students within the same school?
3. How do these population trends in the U.S. reflect the world as a whole?
4. What are the opportunities for all of us if we assimilate these disparate populations effectively?


Published: March 14, 2009

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — Walking the halls of Cecil D. Hylton High School outside Washington, it is hard to detect any trace of the divisions that once seemed fixtures in American society.

Two girls, a Muslim in a headscarf and a strawberry blonde in tight jeans, stroll arm in arm. A Hispanic boy wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt gives a high-five to a black student with glasses and an Afro. The lanky homecoming queen, part Filipino and part Honduran, runs past on her way to band practice. The student body president, a son of Laotian refugees, hangs fliers about a bake sale.

Visit www.nytimes.com for the entire article

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