IIL Banner 2013

APRIL 2013
In this Issue:
Language Integration and Policy Strategies
>  ESL Policy Commentary
>  Bilingual Education-
    MABE Agency Highlight
>  Current Research
>  Recent Publications

  Deval Patrick, MM

Governor Deval Patrick  Speaks to BC  
"The Politics and Policies of Inclusion"  
April 2, 2013 
Nat Cerm
Naturalization Ceremony 
Boston College
March 21, 2013
 See highlights here > > 


English Requirement in Immigration Reform Will Test Underfunded ESL System

Liz Goodwin, Feb. 2013 
Yahoo News

National Immigrant Integration Conference
Miami, October 23-25, 2013
Hosted by National Partnership for New Americans, the Florida Immigrant Coalition & the Knight Foundation



Welcome to the IIL Commentary!  We hope to connect practitioners and researchers with the contribution of academics working across multiple disciplines - our focus being the role social policy and social work can play in promoting the full integration of the foreign born.


The Research and Books columns serve as a bulletin board, posting recent work from a wide variety of submissions and sources meant to encourage scholarship, use of evidence-based research and create a vibrant national place for dialogue.



Liberal affirmation of culture ought not impede a shared value with conservative voices calling for a common language of English. The children of China are taught English and will make China the largest population of English speakers (albeit a second language) in the world
by 2025.  The shared language of 28 nations in Europe is English. The common ground among Native Americans, nativists and newcomers
is English. 


We are witnessing a confluence of forces that creates a tectonic realignment around immigration...but immigrant integration hangs on different forces, and shared language is unmistakably the premier force.


Who is responsible for the provision of English as a Second Language instruction and in what form is it available? Immersion brings most children to English fluency within two years though it takes about five to be at equivalence. Each year of adulthood appears to slowdown the acquisition of language and this simple truth demands a creative educational system for adult learners that afford the would-be student a myriad of options. Refugees are offered survival ESL on arrival but for most immigrants, it is a question of money or long waits to find an
English class.


Policy is absent, in part due to a laissez faire history, absent political determination, and occasionally financing priorities. While many are rightly fighting for interpreter services and English Language Learner programs, there is little muscle fighting for robust ESL. Perhaps the upcoming immigration reform bill needs to include "integration" in the bill title and include language training in its provisions! 


Graduation rates are a measure of integration for immigrant minors. The foreign born are within all ethnic/racial groups, but compare the white high school graduation rate of 83% with 66.1% for African Americans, 93% for Asians and 71.4% for Hispanics.  How well English for Speakers of Other Languages is taught, the availability of classes, the speed of integration and how attentive schools are at keeping students at grade level while acquiring English language are all measures for assessing state and community commitment.


The pace of English acquisition, however, varies widely from one year to 6.5 years (Pray and MacSwan, 2002). In response to this fact, mandated pedagogy, forced one or two-year limits or any such one-size fits all approach defeat the purpose. Educators need empowerment, options and trust in order for the future Americans in our schools to prosper.  


At the same time, adult ESL must become a national priority. We want to speak a common language, so let us provide the means. The Dutch, for example, require every immigrant to attend Dutch classes provided by the government. Here we must rise above the disorganized and poorly orchestrated offerings to make this a prime task of adult education.


The world is learning English, and newcomers here are generally eager to learn English. We have to decide to offer English classes to all!


Language is central to one's identity and also to national life. We begin with a clear priority for shared English but move quickly to the advantages of being multi-lingual. Both as a nation and as individuals this takes us into the excitement of language acquisition, preservation and relearning and the cultural competence that only comes from entering the rich connectedness of shared language.


Westy Egmont, Director 

BCGSSW Immigrant Integration Lab


Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education (MABE)

Chapter of National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE)


In Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island there are currently 25 programs or schools that are designated as "Two-Way Bilingual" schools.  These enroll a balance of native English speakers and native speakers of the partner language.  These students study the full curriculum of academic content in both languages.  In addition there are a number of "One-Way Immersion" or "Foreign Language Immersion" programs where native English speaking students are immersed for all or part of the academic day in a second language. 


Long-term longitudinal studies of Dual Language programs by researchers Wayne Thomas and Virginia Collier have shown that achievement increases for all the sub-groups studied - English Language Learners, native English speakers, African-Americans, students of low Socioeconomic Status, and even some Special Education students.  For students who are limited English Proficient, only dual language programs eventually close all of the achievement gaps. (W.P. Thomas & V.P. Collier 2004-2012)


MABE is dedicated to promoting and supporting Dual Language Education.  MABE believes that bilingualism and multiculturalism are assets, and that they should identify, promote, and disseminate research-based programs and practices that support bilingualism and multiculturalism for educational success.  MABE is affiliated with the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE), the only national professional organization devoted to representing Bilingual Learners and Bilingual Education professionals, representing more than 20,000 members that include Bilingual and English Language Learner (ELL) teachers, parents, paraprofessionals, administrators, professors, advocates, researchers, and policy makers. There are 21 state affiliates.  Read more about MABE > > 

Am. J of Ed
State Education Policy Formation: The Case of Arizona English Language Learner Legislation

Stephen B. Lawton

American Journal of Education, Volume 118, Issue 4 (August 2012)

This study focuses on a specific policy for English Language Learners (ELLs) that was adopted by the state of Arizona in 2006. The Law creates an English Language Learners Task Force that was to develop a 4-hour-per-day structured English immersion (SEI) program. Symbolically, Arizona's law reflects a vision of the role of the English language in America; technically it requires a specific approach for teaching English language learners, an approach who's validity is yet to be tested. If effective, Arizona's newest policy will likely endure and perhaps be adopted by other states with traditional values. Read more here > >



Citizenship Status and Language Education Policy in an Emerging Latino Community in the United States 

Ariana Mangual Figueroa

Language Policy, (February 2013)

This article focuses on a portion of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act known as Title III, which attempts to enlist parental participation in public schools by mandating that schools communicate with parents in a language that they can understand. Figueroa demonstrates how the interrelations between Limited English Proficient (LEP) and citizenship shape the way in which an administrator and undocumented parent work towards parental involvement. The ethnographic evidence presented in this article suggests that face-to face interactions are significant for the interpretation, adjustment, and implementation of Limited English Proficient policy locally. Read more here > > 

journschool psych

Are there peer effects associated with having English language Learner (ELL) classmates? Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K)

Rosa Minhyo Cho

Economics of Education Review, Volume 31, Issue 5 (2012)

In recent years, several changes in education policy have encouraged the quick immersion of ELL students into English-only instruction classrooms. This paper presents new evidence on the potential costs of these policies to the non-ELL classmates of ELL students in terms of academic achievement.  Findings from the study suggest that having an ELL classmate decreases non-ELL student's reading test score gains but not necessarily in math.  The negative effects on reading are concentrated on girls and students whose annual household incomes are $25,000 or less. Read more here > > 

economics of ed

Effects of a Paired Bilingual Reading Program and an English-only Program on the Reading Performance of English Learners in Grades 1-3

Doris Luft Baker, Younghan Park, Scott K. Baker, Deni Lee Basaraba, Edward J Kame'enui, & Carrie Thomas Beck

Journal of School Psychology, Volume 50, Issue 6, (December 2012)

The rapid increase of Student English Language learners (ELLs) has added pressure on schools to find effective ways to teach students who are not yet proficient in English. Paired bilingual programs where students simultaneously receive instruction in their native language and in English helped ELLs make more growth throughout the school year. Learning to read in two alphabetic languages, such a English and Spanish, in this approach can help ELLs acquire reading skills in English in addition to supporting the development of their Spanish reading skills.  Additionally, as students remain in paired bilingual programs year after year their oral reading skills may become stronger. Read more here > >



Education and Immigration  

Kao, G. (2013): Polity

"In this insightful and gracefully written volume, Kao, Vaquera, and Goyette show there is no single story of immigration and education. There is important variation between and within immigrant groups that policy makers need to attend to, and variation along the lines of class, race, and language that we all need to be aware of as we consider which groups do better and why."
-Vivian Shuh Ming Louie, Harvard University 

"A good course book for students of education, race, ethnicity and immigration."
-Westy Egmont, Director of the Immigrant Integration Lab   


Foundations for Multilingualism in Education from Principles to Practice 

De Jong, Ester J., (2011): Carlson Publishing

"A compelling, comprehensive, and intellectually rich case for bi/multilingualism in education that students, educators, parents, policymakers and more experienced researchers will find invaluable. De Jong provides a multi-layered social, economic, political, legal, and educational rationale for multilingualism along with visions for successful practice and policy." 

-Kathryn Lindholm-Leary, Ph.D, San Jose State University


Legal Integration of Islam: A Transatlantic Comparison 

Joppke, C. & John Torpey, (2013): Harvard University Press 

"A sober, nuanced, and rigorously researched study of how four countries approach Islam in politics and, in particular, law. It recognizes that Muslim immigrants create particular challenges, but is in no way hysterical or pessimistic about these states' capacity to address them. It is a provocative book that will attract a wide readership and generate much debate." 

-Randall Hansen, University of Toronto


Latinos and the Economy: Integration and Impact in Schools, Labor Markets, and Beyond
Leal, D. & Trejo, S. (Editors) (2013): Springer  

"An e-book compendium of articles written by 17 labor economists and policy scholars exploring the central issues of education, immigration, earnings, naturalization and employment and the implication of these factors for both economic participation and national integration. While dominated by one discipline, this scholarship well details the key factors impacting the Latino experience in the US economy."

-Westy Egmont, Director of the Immigrant Integration Lab 

EDITORS: E. Broderick, B. Shaw and C. Peterson