Arizona schools cutting mandatory language immersion for ELL students - and it's a good idea!

Arizona is a state with a large population of students who are considered English language learners - in fact about 85,000 students in the state are ELL's. With a large number of kids who are in the process of becoming proficient in English, they have interesting insight into how to bend their education policy to streamline and improve the experiences of these kids (generally speaking! I know from a political standpoint that many opinions exist on how states, especially Arizona, determine their policies around education, immigration and the combination of both - this is not a blog post that only addresses a particular policy for Arizona - whew!).

Anyway, the state has recently allowed schools to reduce the amount of 'mandatory immersion' for these students - which is an incredible 4 hour block of time - to a discretionary period of time. This is a good idea. Why? Because many of the schools in the state recognize that some students acquire their language skills at different levels than others and that keeping those kids that are doing well with their English language acquisition could benefit from being in classes with their English speaking peers to improve their skills even more. Also, this ensures that these students are able to engage with their core content (read: academic core content) in their new language - and even select their own electives, allowing them options in their education and providing opportunity for greater integration into their school and social environments.

It's an interesting and exciting policy change for Arizona and I invite to you to read more here on the Tuscon.com website, State cost time in mandatory language immersion for some students.