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English Language Learners

During the last decade, the number of English Language Learners (ELLs) has risen significantly in classrooms all over the U.S., with the increasing diversity of American society (Drucker, 2003). English language learners (ELLs), as a group, has consistently fared far worse in standardized testing than their peers, especially in the case of language arts tests. Essentially, state tests indicate that ELL students typically score 20 to 30 percentage points lower than their peers. Just as disturbingly, their performance does not improve significantly over the years (Abedi & Dietel, 2004). While various factors have been identified as the reasons for their poor performance such as the departure of high achievers from the group (Abedi & Dietel, 2004), another possible reason is the educators' lack of knowledge and understanding of ELLs. According to Drucker (2003), 41 percent of the three million public teachers surveyed by the National Center for Education Statistics reported that they teach ELLs in their classrooms. Yet, only 12.5 percent have undergone eight or more hours of training (Drucker, 2003).

As a result of this lack of training, many educators possess many myths and misconceptions of ELL students, which have undermined their capacity to provide adequate instruction to these students. In this paper, an analysis of the myths and misconceptions of ELL students will be presented, which represent both perspectives of this topic.

One of the myths and misconceptions of ELL students is that ELLs should be able to acquire the English language quickly. This misconception stems from the educators' failure to distinguish between "conversational and academic proficiency" (Drucker, 2003, p. 22). Some ELLs are able to engage in conversations in various settings such as the English-only classroom and the playground with tremendous ease. Because of their conversational skills, these students are mistakenly considered to b...

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English Language Learners. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:09, April 21, 2019, from