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Education & ESL: References

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The following is a list of references to equip immigrant advocates, service providers and immigrants with important information about education and ESL.  If you have a relevant reference you want to share, please send us the information.

Title Author/Date Description
Appreciating America's Heritage - Immigration Resource Guide for Educators (2009-2010 Edition)

American Immigration Law Foundation

May 22, 2009

Contains new and innovative lesson plans, book and film reviews as well as a brief history of U.S. immigration.
Taking Limited English Proficient Adults into Account in the Federal Adult Education Funding Formula

Capps, Michael Fix, Margie McHugh and Serena Yi-Ying Lin, Migration Policy Institute

June 4, 2009

Title II of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) is the main federal funding source for adult basic education, literacy, and English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction in the United States.  Currently, the funding formula is based only on the number of individuals in a state with less than a high school degree or its equivalent. Thus, even though all adults with limited English proficiency (LEP) are eligible for WIA Title II programs, the funding formula does not take into account LEP adults with a high school degree or more. This memo looks at the LEP population in the U.S., in order to help inform the debate about how the funding formula should be determined.
Adult English Language Instruction in the United States: Determining Need and Investing Wisely

Migration Policy Institute

July 31, 2007

In this report, the authors provide census-based estimates on the number, educational attainment, and English skills of adults who are lawful permanent residents (LPRs) or unauthorized immigrants. The report translates these numbers into estimates of the hours of instruction these immigrants will need to achieve the English skills necessary for civic integration, and, in the case of youth age 17 to 24, the English skills necessary for postsecondary study. The report includes both national- and state-level estimates of instructional needs and the costs associated with meeting them.

Linguistic Life Expectancies: Immigrant Language Retention in Southern California

Rubén G. Rumbaut, Douglas S. Massey, Frank D. Bean
Population Council


Although the life expectancy of Spanish is found to be greater among Mexicans in Southern California compared to other groups, its ultimate demise nonetheless seems assured by the third generation. English has never been seriously threatened as the dominant language of the United States, and it is not threatened today—not even in Southern California.

Language Assimilation Today: Bilingualism Persists More Than in the Past, But English Still Dominates

Richard Alba
Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research, State University of New York at Albany


Using 2000 Census data, this analysis finds that English is almost universally accepted by the children and grandchildren of the immigrants who have come to the U.S. in great numbers since the 1960s.

Children of Immigrant Families

The Future of Children


Articles authored by experts on child development and immigration. Includes a synthesis of research, analysis, and policy recommendations. The report’s authors identified immigrant parents’ lack of English skills as a primary barrier to signing children up for preschool, getting them involved in after-school activities, and helping them meet college entrance requirements.

Federal Policy for Immigrant Children: Room for Common Ground NEW!

Ron Haskin, Mark Greenberg and Shawn Fremstad
The Future of Children


A companion piece for Children of Immigrant Families.

The Multiplier Effect NEW!

Stuart Anderson
National Foundation for American Policy


Argues that a large percentage of top students in the United States are the children of immigrants. These findings provide evidence that maintaining an open policy toward skilled professionals, international students, and legal immigration is vital to America's technological and scientific standing in the world.

Latino Youth and the Pathway to College

Educational Policy Institute


It explores the educational attainment gaps between whites and Latinos in the US.

Engaging Mexican Immigrant Parents in Their Children's Education

The Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition


Aims to help teachers understand the differences between the Colorado and Mexico school systems, how to recognize the strengths that Mexican immigrant families have to offer the school system, and how to engage parents in the classroom to help improve the academic achievement of their children.

Ensuring the Academic Success of Our Children

The Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition


A useful model for parent education workshops. Includes information about the education system at the school, district, state and federal levels parental rights and responsibilities parent expectations effective parent engagement in schools and how parents can support their children's learning at home.

Great Expectations:How the Public and Parents — White, African American and Hispanic — View Higher Education NEW!

John Immerwahr with Tony Foleno
Public Agenda


For most Americans, a college education has replaced the high school diploma as the gateway to the middle class, and we found African American and Hispanic parents are significantly more likely than whites to emphasize the value of higher education, not less.

Caught in the Financial Aid Information Divide: A National Survey of Latino Perspectives on Financial Aid

Sallie Mae Fund


According to a new Sallie Mae Fund survey, Latinos lack awareness of college financial aid options, which has a direct impact on their college attendance.

Denied at the Door: Language Barriers Block Immigrant Parents from School Involvement

Advocates for Children of New York


This report addresses the lack of meaningful access afforded to parents with limited English proficiency to their children’s schools and the school system due to language differences.

With Diploma in Hand: Hispanic High School Seniors Talk about their Future

John Immerwahr
Public Agenda


Focus groups with Hispanic high school students suggest that some may be derailed on the road to higher education by low expectations from teachers, poor understanding of the admissions processes, and little adult support.

U.S. Immigration: Trends and Implications for Schools

Michael E. Fix and Jeffrey S. Passel
The Urban Institute


Provides an overview of major trends in immigration that are having profound impact on the nation's schools draws a statistical portrait of the nation's immigrant and limited English proficient (LEP) student population and discusses the comparative merits of using Census data versus state reported measures of LEP students.

Adult English Language Instruction in the 21st Century (PDF)

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition


Gives an overview of the field of adult English as a second language (ESL) instruction in the United States.

A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students’ Long-Term Academic Achievement

Wayne P. Thomas Virginia P. Collier
Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence


This five-year research study (1996-2001) is the most recent overview of the types of U.S. school programs provided for linguistically and culturally diverse students, especially focusing on English language learners’ (ELLs/LEPs) academic achievement in Grades K-12.

The Improving Educational Profile of Latino Immigrants

B Lindsay Lowell and Robert Suro
Pew Hispanic Center


This report shows that educational profile of the adult population of foreign-born Latinos has improved significantly during the past three decades.

ESL Education Helps Immigrants Integrate

American Immigration Council


Recent studies show that improved English language education may lead to an increase in the rate of assimilation and help immigrants achieve their goals of a more complete integration into American society.

English Literacy and Civics Education for Adult Learners (PDF)

National Institute for Literacy


Summarizes the federal legislation authorizing the EL/CE initiative, discusses the background of English literacy and civics education in the U.S and describes the adult English language learning population.

Overlooked and Underserved: Immigrant Students in U.S. Secondary Schools

Jorge Ruiz-de-Velasco, Michael E. Fix, Beatriz Chu Clewell
The Urban Institute


This report focuses on two subpopulations of immigrant children that pose special challenges to secondary schools but have received little attention. One is immigrant teens who arrive in the U.S. school system with significant gaps in their schooling. The second subpopulation is students from language minority homes who have been in U.S. schools longer, but have yet to master basic language and literacy skills.

Research Agenda for Adult ESL (PDF)

Center for Adult English Language Acquisition


Adult English as a second language (ESL) instruction is the fastest growing area of adult education. Although much is known about best practices in adult ESL, there are still unanswered questions about the adult English language learner, program design, teacher preparation, instruction, and assessment. This paper seeks to answer those questions.

How Immigrants Fare in U.S. Education

RAND Corporation


This report is one of three RAND reports that examine the participation of immigrants in the nation's educational system. The other two reports focus on the effects of increasing immigration on U.S. schools and on higher education institutions.

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