153. I am in the process of writing a thesis project for a Masters in Human Resource Management at Webster University. The topic is ESL: Educational Mandates and the Economic Impact in Duplin County, North Carolina. Do you have any material that addresses illiteracy and ESL in the public schools?   Obviously illiteracy impacts all cultures, but I believe sometimes it may be confused, or even hidden within ESL programs in junior or senior high schools. This may be more prevalent with older children as they enter the workforce at ages 16 to 22 years of age. Any thoughts, ideas, or background information on this particular slant?

Wonderful!!! Fascinating topic!!! And, indeed, a much needed study for NC and for all other states.

I do know that in many school districts in CA we have a large number of older students --probably 4th grade to 10th grade--who may have never attended school in their respective countries or may have been to school for a very short amount of time. I know that when we received large numbers of Laotian and Mon-Khmer speaking students, many of them --and their elders-- were totally illiterate due to the ravages of war in Southeast Asia.

We have very large numbers of Guatemalan students in Alamosa, Colorado, who escaped with their parents the horrible war brought upon that small country by its own military. Many of these students were totally illiterate in Spanish and many spoke only the Mayan dialect of the native tribes of Guatemala. We have many students from Africa who come with extremely poor literacy skills due to the horrible situations in their respective countries.

Similarly in Florida, large numbers of Haitian students have arrived with almost no literacy skills in their own dialect of French. And we do have many students from remote areas in Mexico who may have never attended school. I do know that there are many of these students in Duplin County, Sampson and Wayne Counties, North Carolina. There are many of these students in Arkansas, too.

I have difficulty understanding what you are trying to say or suggest. Testing for ESL initial placement is usually done through listening and speaking because there is no point testing reading and writing of a language a student cannot understand when spoken nor can they speak the language. It is assumed that if there are no listening and speaking skills in English, obviously there are no reading and writing skills in English either. However, the issue of reading and writing is addressed in ESL almost immediately as ESL students begin taking ESL classes.

Now if indeed ALL students are to be provided an equal educational opportunity and equal access to the curriculum, then, upon graduation from high school ALL students --ESL and non-ESL students-- should have achieved the same educational goals and met the same educational standards. There are students who drop out from all races and all backgrounds before graduating from high school. Research shows that, unfortunately, the drop-out rate for minorities is extremely high, as compared to white students. Usually, Latinos and African-American students have the highest drop out rates, higher for minority girls than boys. Thus, there is an economic impact on the entire society resulting from these minority and non-minority students who drop-out. Some, may eventually earn a high school diploma through adult education programs; others may join a community college and eventually may graduate with an AA degree or a Bachelor's degree. 

I do not clearly understand exactly what you are after. From the title of your study I thought you were going to study the educational mandates derived through court orders (Federal mandates) and other State mandates, the funding levels for these mandates and the discrepancies of funding from county to county in North Carolina where ESL student prevail; and then determine where Duplin County appears in terms of the implementation of Federal and State mandated programs, the level of funding as per other NC Counties, and the relative success of Duplin County in meeting the needs of these students by comparing graduation rates, achievement levels, entry levels, etc. If this is what you are trying to do, I think it is a wonderful study!!!!!!

You have plenty of information already gathered by Duplin County, by other counties, at the state level, etc. I believe your study should compile ALL available information and compare and contrast Duplin County to all other counties in the state.  That should be plenty!!!!!!!Let me know the results!!!! I would be delighted to know!!!!!



For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

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5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
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7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
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Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
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