Nearly every school in the U.S. will at some point have students who are new to the country and English language. These kids are English language learners. Schools must provide equal educational access for these individuals to allow children to partake in regular schooling and tests, and have a fair chance at doing well. Here are some important ELL rights to know:
1. Teachers cannot disclude ELLs from lessons
A 1970 Office for Civil Rights memo about the responsibilities school districts have while educating ELLS noted that students inabilities to speak or understand English cannot exclude them from participating in school activities.
2. ELL parents must receive equal information
While ELL parents may not have the same English aptitude as those who are fluent in the language, they must still receive all school notices or information in a language they understand. Teachers can use online translations or have another educator who knows both languages translate any email, flier or other communication in ELL parents' native languages.
3. Schools must adequately support ELLs
Imagine being a child and having to get through school every day without a full understanding of the language everyone around you speaks. Just navigating through the day is difficult, not to mention learning new things and doing homework. This is why schools have to offer resources to ELLs that assist the children through all aspects of schooling. This also includes occasionally assessing the students' learning to create and alter plans that will help the students learn English and also master appropriate topics according to grade levels. There is no timeline for an ELL to fully grasp English. Instead, schools must offer alternative services until the student is fluent enough to participate in normal educational programming.