IMMIGRANT STUDENTS EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE ROLE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING

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IMMIGRANT STUDENTS EXPERIENCE IN THE UNITED STATES AND THEROLE OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING.
What is it like to be an immigrant student in America today? Living in a foreign land where the culture and language is different from one’s own? Where opportunities are plentiful if you can overcome vast challenges? From the beginning, America has been the country of immigrants. After all, it’s where millions of people from varying countries migrate in hope of enhancing the quality of their family’s live and building a better future. Compared to other countries, the UnitedStates receives the largest number of immigrants. According to the 2018 Current Population Survey at least twenty-eight percent of the overall U.S. population has been individuals who have relocated from another country. There are currently approximately 44.5 million immigrants in the country. (Migration Policy Institute, 2019) This number steadily continues to grow.The unprecedented levels of immigrants on U.S. soil, puts the country in a unique position. Yes, one of the biggest challenges the United States faces is adequately serving the immigrant students. Let’s be honest, today’s immigrants are arriving from widely diverse source countries and settling in nontraditional states and communities with limited experience, resources and infrastructure to help foreign children learn English and adapt to their surroundings. There are anoverwhelming number of immigrant students entering the public school system in record levels.Since immigrants and English learning students are the fastest growing population in public schools this places implications curriculum and program development. In fact, a large majority of
the students enrolled in Kindergarten to 12th grade is made up of foreign students. Thirty percentof the nation’s school population is immigrant youths and children with at least one parent who isan immigrant.Education is vital to second generation immigrant students, which is why they tend to have very high aspirations. Many families migrate to the United States in hopes of giving their children an opportunity to seek a good education. Along with their American peers are entering an information and technology driven economy. Therefore, having a good education is imperative because being well-educated increases the likelihood of getting a good paying job. Obtaining a good education is essential for foreign born and immigrant students, especially since the alternative is a working a low-wage job for unskilled workers. To be honest, the country needs all children to reach their full potential if we are to reach our goals as a nation. Since our future depends on the success of immigrant families and their children, the country has the responsibility of ensuring that they are well equipped with the tools they need to learn.

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