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English as a Second Language, Domestic and International Issues

English as a second language (ESL) has become a critical topic in education in the United States and globally. Domestically, populations of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. communities and schools are rapidly increasing, and data show that they are having limited school success. They have higher dropout rates, lower grades and test scores, and lower college attendance rates than their native-English-speaking peers. Although immigrant and refugee students constitute the majority of ELLs in the United States, many others were native born. These students, although second- or even third-generation U.S. residents, often do not live in homes or communities where English is spoken fluently.

Internationally, the picture is a bit different. There is a distinction to be made between ELLs who are students living and being ...

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