English as a Second Language

Over the past four decades, numerous federal policy initiatives and judicial decisions have emerged to address the education of students with limited English language skills. Throughout this time period, students with limited English language skills have been referred to as English as Second Language (ESL) learners, English speakers of other languages (ESOL), English language learners (ELL), or limited-English-proficient learners (LEP). LEP is frequently used in schools because of the federal reference to students who are LEP in Title III of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002. For clarity purposes, this entry refers to students with limited English language skills as English language learners (ELLs), because ELL is preferred by advocacy groups, has less judgmental implications than LEP, and is a more accurate ...

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