Equal protection for K-12 students based on their level of English language competency is essential in prolific studying. It is impossible for a student who does not have a sufficient level of English language competency to succeed in academic studies because they cannot understand the things that are discussed in the classroom (Chou, 2018). Students are classified based on objective testing that allows educators to understand the English language proficiency level and to divide students into groups with different curricula and tasks (Chou, 2018). It is possible to classify bilingual students (dual language use) who require transitional bilingual education and those students who are new language learners (Shin, 2018). This classification allows teachers to use the optimal solutions in the classroom to explain the material to students and improve their English language proficiency.
The peculiar detail is that not all students who have issues with English language proficiency are international students. In many cases, these students are from bilingual families or from immigrant families who arrived recently in the United States. Therefore, the questions connected with the English language proficiency among children and adolescents are closely associated with the topic of racial and ethnic segregation. It becomes a biased theme that often leads to the discrimination of students who do not have adequate English language knowledge. Students from immigrant families or ethnic minorities are classified as learners whose curriculum should be more accessible than the one for native English speakers, and they receive worse education in schools (Chou, 2018). It leads to significant inequality that is difficult to overcome in the school environment and aggravates societal racial biases.
The legal issues connected with these classifications of students based on their English language proficiency show that there are many things to change in the existing approaches to education. The following case from “Chief Justice’s Year-End Reports on the Federal Judiciary League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry Arlington Central School Dist.” features this topic. This case shows that in some states, the number of Latino Americans is more than 50%, which means that the segregation of this population is against the principles of democracy (U.S. Supreme Court, 2005). In school, these students should receive the opportunity to study using their language on the same curriculum as native English speakers to ensure equal protection of their rights.
The case “Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO, April 25, 2016,” shows that schools should adopt more revolutionary and innovative strategies to cope with their problems. It is possible to connect these conclusions with the need to protect the rights of non-native English speakers in the school environment (U.S. Supreme Court, 2016). For example, introducing separate classes where the education is in the native language of the particular group can be discussed as a practical alternative. “Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru” discusses students’ right to freedom of faith and religious expression (U.S. Supreme Court, 2020). The topic is critical in ensuring justice and equality for all students in the school environment. However, it is necessary to remember that curriculum equality and the absence of ethnic segregation are more practically essential questions. When students are divided into groups where there are native English learners and those, who are not proficient in the English language, the second group is segregated and alienated from the rest of the class.
Chou, M.H. (2018). Speaking anxiety and strategy use for learning English as a foreign language in full and partial English-medium instruction contexts. TESOL Quarterly, 52(3), 611–633. Web.
Shin, N. (2018). The effects of the initial English language learner classification on students’ later academic outcomes. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 40(2), 175–195. Web.
U.S. Supreme Court. (2005). Chief Justice’s year-end reports on the Federal Judiciary League of United Latin American citizens v. Perry Arlington Central School dist. Web.
U.S. Supreme Court. (2016). Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO, Web.
U.S. Supreme Court. (2020). Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru. Web.