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All demographers have noted that the United States is clearly experiencing a high growth in students who are English language learners (ELLs). Moreover, almost all researchers predict this trend will continue and increase substantially. How school officials respond to the challenge to meet the needs of students who seek to learn English in an appropriate way will determine much of the future of American education. This entry describes how politics is influencing decisions that schools make in this area.

Bilingual Controversy

Unfortunately, this area of educational praxis is highly politicized and controversial. In American education law and politics, there is no more volatile mix of policy, research, folklore, myth, and xenophobia than in the various state and federal laws and regulations addressing the needs of language minority ...

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