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Oregon Voters Rejected Measure Limiting Services to ELLs

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As Campaign K-12 reports, Oregon voters have rejected Measure 58, a state ballot measure that would have put a cap of two years on the amount of time English-language learners could receive instruction in their native language. It seemed that it would have also put a cap of two years on English-as-a-second-language instruction for ELLs. The vote was 53 percent to 47 percent against the measure.

A favorable political climate for bilingual education programs could be coming, given the fact that the American people have chosen Sen. Barack Obama as president-elect. He has publicly endorsed transitional bilingual education, an education method where students are taught some subjects in their native language while learning English.

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This is a good thing. You'd be surprised at how many people think that banning the native language will "make" people learn English. A student of mine was reading a book about a Chinese girl who was adopted and right in the book it had a comment that the girl shouldn't speak Chinese anymore or she'd never learn English. One of the most interesting things I've seen in children's literature is while many authors are writing about more "diverse" kids, ESOL teachers and classes for learning English are totally absent. Why are authors so afraid or willfully ignorant of us?

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