Current Issues in ESL Education in the Buffalo Area


Current Issues in ESL Education in the Buffalo Area



Pyi Phyoe Thu and Suesue E. Kie, EDU 201: Introduction to Education
Faculty Mentor: Professor Sandara D. Washington-Copeland, Elementary Education

This study explores the issues in English as a Second Language (ESL) education in the Buffalo area. To study those issues, secondary data will be collected from document analysis and record searches. Over the past 10 years, the number of English Language Learners (ELLs) has nearly doubled. These students are from a variety of cultural backgrounds with diverse customs, religions, and languages. According to Buffalo Public Schools, there are about 6,000 ELLs and they represent approximately 84 language groups in Buffalo. A recent Buffalo News article shared concerns of immigrant and refugee leaders who say there are too few bilingual teachers to address the poor academic results seen among so many of these ELL students. Supporting these students can be challenging because many did not plan on attending or finishing school and in many cases, their priority is finding a job to support their family, especially for older high school students. Many ELL students have also faced trauma and have developed social and emotional learning problems. After analyzing the information collected, the preliminary data shows that schools need parental involvement with appropriate language support. Our future research intends to address the issues in ESL education from a holistic approach by including perspectives from teachers, students, parents, community, administrators, and government.

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Current Issues in ESL Education in the Buffalo Area