Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Chris Jochum


The demographic of our country’s public school students is very diverse and continues to change. By 2020, African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American groups will account for more than 40 percent of the U.S. population and this percentage is expected to increase to 50 percent by the year 2040 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2003). Currently, 46 percent of all schools in the United States have English Language Learners (ELL) or English as Second Language (ESL) students (National Center for Educational Statistics). Furthermore, Hispanics now make up the largest minority group in the United States and it’s estimated that by 2021, 25 percent of all students will be Hispanic (Gándara, 2010). These numbers suggest that current and future public school administrators will need to understand effective ESL/bilingual instruction in order to provide their students and teachers with adequate support and supervision. Likewise, they will also need to have a basic understanding of educational law as it pertains to ESL and bilingual programming. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to offer an administrative overview of some of the more salient issues related to the effective instruction of ESL students as well to present a summary of prominent course cases-and subsequent rulings-that affect ESL instruction.


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