Immigrants and education in the united states essay


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But in the US there are many things we must go through if we want something, and we also spend a lot of money for many reasons: rent, water,food. Everything always costs money. There are many sacrifices people face while they are immigrants. They work long hourse for more money, but they don't have enough time with their family. Some people work 24 hours in order to have enough money for their rent and bills. Some people even get sick because of working hard during the day and night.

But, they dont chose to quit their jobs, because they must work hard to get money for their needs and wants. In conclusion, being and immigran is not an easy way to live well and have a better life. Video Stories. Radio Stories. News Articles. Immigrant History Links. Such measures on the part of public authorities should not be construed as reflecting acceptance of bilingualism as a long-term educational goal; the mounting concern about how immigrants seemed to be building separate communities led by seventeen states to require that English be the sole language of instruction at the elementary level in public schools.

The anti-German sentiment of World War I led twenty-one states to add such a requirement for private schools as well—a requirement that the U. Supreme Court struck down in Meyer v. State of Nebraska in The supposed failure of immigrants and their children to learn English is the basis for much concern about immigration and about bilingual education in the early twenty-first century. In fact, there is no reason to believe that current immigrants, any more than those in the past, will seek or be able to persuade their children to remain linguistically separate.

Two leading supporters of bilingual education concede that "the United States is, at the societal level, staunchly monolingual. Legislating monolingualism as a requirement for citizenship could hardly have been more successful in creating a monolingual society than have been the unofficial economic and social forces at work.

The continuing use of Spanish in California has not slowed the rate of shift to English as the primary language for individuals of Hispanic descent; while "in most areas of the United States approximately 70 percent of the native born currently are adopting English as their usual language," the rate is 85 percent in California Veltman, p. It is sometimes suggested that the heavy concentrations of Hispanics constitutes an exception to the usual pattern of language shift, but this seems to reflect mostly the language use of newcomers.

A study by Alejandro Portes and Ruben G. Rumbaut in Los Angeles found that, among third-generation Mexican-American women, 4 percent spoke only Spanish at home, and 84 percent only English. The transition to English among men was even more rapid. Because of this pattern of language loss, some argue that the public schools have an obligation to help maintain minority languages and cultures.

It would be more accurate to say that, while this policy option certainly could be justified on educational grounds, it is not a legal requirement. In no case have the courts found a legal right to public support in maintaining a group's identity or language as a remedy of past discrimination.

Even if language maintenance were to be accepted as an educational goal, there is little reason to believe that even full-time bilingual classes would have the effect of maintaining the active use of minority languages, unless these languages were strongly supported outside the school. Immigrant parents are especially likely to question language-maintenance efforts in schools if they believe there is any chance this will limit their children's acquisition of the majority language that they themselves cannot teach their children well. Mexican-American parents surveyed by the Educational Testing Service in supported bilingual education and said it was important that their children speak Spanish well, but rejected instruction in Spanish nearly four to one if it would take away from learning English.

In a survey, the foundation Public Agenda posed the question: "With students who are new immigrants, which is more important for the public schools to do? Teach them English as quickly as possible, even if this means they fall behind in other subjects, or teach them other subjects in their native language, even if this means it takes them longer to learn English? No special arrangements were made for immigrant pupils through most of the nineteenth century, apart from being in a public school classroom, with what was then a strong emphasis upon basic skills and upon patriotism and civic morality.

Essays on Education and Immigration throughout the 20th Century

In some cases, indeed, they were not allowed to attend school with native children. Children of Chinese immigrants were segregated by law in a number of states. The California legislature enacted a requirement during its — session that "Negroes, Mongolians, and Indians, shall not be admitted into the public schools. Such discrimination was not confined to California. The U. Supreme Court ruled in Gong Lumv. Rice that school officials in Mississippi could exclude a Chinese-American child from the local "white" school. Martha Lum had "the right to attend and enjoy the privileges of a common school education in a colored school" or her father could send her to a private school at his own expense.

Although persons of Mexican descent were considered "white" under state laws requiring school segregation of blacks, they were often segregated by local practices. Local practices included drawing school attendance lines to correspond with residential segregation—and the segregation already existing within schools—and assigning all Mexican-American children automatically to the lowest instructional track, according to Guadalupe Salinas's study.

As a result of such practices, "in , 85 per cent of California schools surveyed by the state government reported segregating Mexican students either in separate classrooms or in separate schools…. By , 90 per cent of the schools in Texas were racially segregated" Donato, Menchaca, and Valencia, p.

A Nation of Immigrants

Separation was not always permanent, or motivated by distaste for the immigrant. Special reception classes to teach essential language skills in an otherwise unmodified school program were considered an especially progressive measure in the period of heaviest immigration to the United States in the early twentieth century. So-called steamer classes were provided in many cities for children newly arrived "off the boat" from Europe. In Massachusetts alone, twenty-six cities and towns reported providing such classes in The Boston school superintendent asserted that "there is general agreement in the practice of progressive communities in grouping older immigrant children in special classes for intensive work in English, in order that they may acquire the common tongue as a tool for work through which they can be advanced rapidly to classes of children of their own age" Thompson, p.

Special language support did not become a right until the Supreme Court's decision in Lau v. This decision stated that San Francisco was violating the Civil Rights Act of by failing to provide programs that met the needs of several thousand pupils of Chinese ancestry who did not speak English. The implication of the decision was that no violation would have been found if all of the pupils in question had participated in supplemental English instruction ESL , as did about a thousand others.

The court left the method of meeting this obligation to the discretion of school districts. Giving instructions to this group in Chinese is another. There may be others. In retrospect, however, it seems almost in evitable that such a targeted program would develop a momentum of its own and that those educators who made it their specialty would discover an everincreasing need for what only they could provide, and ever new reasons not to integrate language minority children into the mainstream.

The "Lau remedies" issued in draft form subsequently by the federal government, influenced by bilingual education advocates, leaned heavily toward requiring use of the home language for instruction in a separate program, so-called transitional bilingual education.

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School administrators had every reason to believe that they were not only permitted but required to educate language minority pupils separately, at least for whatever period of time was required to bring them up to speed in English. The argument, by some linguists and minority language advocates, that the best way to learn English was through a number of years five to seven years is the figure most commonly used of a bilingual program provided a strong rationale for extending this period of separation.


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Much conflicting research exists on the issue of whether children should first be instructed through their home language if that is not the language of their continuing education. Fortunately, a very complete review of more than thirty years of studies was carried out on behalf of the National Research Council. These include children in early-immersion, two-way, and English as a second language ESL -based programs in North America, as well as those in formerly colonial countries that have maintained the official language [of the colonizer] as the medium of instruction, immigrant children in Israel, children whose parents opt for elite international schools, and many others….

The high literacy achievement of Spanish-speaking children in English-medium Success for All schools…that feature carefully-designed direct literacy instruction suggests that even children from low-literacy homes can learn to read in a second language if the risk associated with poor instruction is eliminated. August and Hakuta, p. Later in the report, indeed, Diane August and Kenji Hukuta conclude candidly that "we do not yet know whether there will be long-term advantages or disadvantages to initial literacy instruction in the primary language versus English, given a very high-quality program of known effectiveness in both cases" p.

Illegal Immigrants and the Educational System Essay

This would seem to argue for allowing the individual school to adopt whatever method produces satisfactory results. Bilingual education was developed initially not as a remedial program but as an enrichment of the education of middle-class children, responding to demands of a relatively high-status refugee group that included many teachers, the Cubans who fled to Miami from the Castro regime in the early s. According to James Crawford, this group, expecting to return to Cuba, was strongly motivated to maintain Spanish.

The Dade County school system launched the first experiment in bilingual education at the Coral Way School. This was an unabashed Spanish-maintenance program for Cuban children and at the same time a Spanish immersion program for Anglo children. The goal was fluency in both languages for both groups.

go here Transitional bilingual education TBE programs have a different goal: they provide support in the home language while the pupil becomes proficient in English. TBE has been provided by hundreds of local school systems as a result of the requirements of state laws the first was enacted in Massachusetts in or as a means of complying with the requirements of the Lau v. Nichols case. While federal law leaves it up to local education officials to determine how to overcome language barriers, a strong encouragement has been given to bilingual programs by federal funding that supports "educational programs using bilingual education practices, techniques and methods.

Pupils are assigned to TBE programs on the basis of an assessment that they are unable to perform ordinary class-work in English and speak another language at home. Pupils stay in these separate classes typically for three years, though many remain longer and advocates argue that five to seven years would be preferable. A survey found that local school districts in thirty-eight of the fifty states provided TBE for Spanish-speaking youngsters, in twenty states they did so for Vietnamese children, in twelve for Korean youngsters, in ten for French-speaking children, and in nine for speakers of Greek.

Half the states had laws that mandated or permitted bilingual instruction as needed—or were in the process of enacting such legislation—and the other half did not seem to have significant enrollments of affected students. The s were probably the high-water mark of this approach to educating the children of immigrants.

California adopted a mandate of bilingual and "bicultural" education in , requiring school districts with more than fifty pupils of limited proficiency in English to develop and implement district master plans. This law was not reenacted in , but most large school systems continued to implement bilingual programs until the referendum Proposition organized by Ron Unz. In June California voters decisively mandated that the children of immigrants be given one year of "structured immersion" in English before mainstreaming into regular classes, unless a sufficient number of parents petitioned for a bilingual class.

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immigrants and education in the united states essay Immigrants and education in the united states essay

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