Synthesis of Professional Articles

In “After-School Programs Embrace English- Learners” and “Bilingualism for Whom?”, Corey Mitchell addresses the importance of recognizing bilingualism as a “resource for learning” rather than “a deficit in need for remediation” (Mitchell, 2019, “How to Dismantle Elite Bilingualism”). In both papers it is reported that achieving bilingualism includes allowing students to feel valued and comfortable. In addition, oftentimes, “elite bilingual students” dominate interactions due to their dominance in English. In this situation, the point is made that the educator must realize these differences and incorporate culturally relevant materials for the “racialized bilinguals” so that both sides of the learning spectrum may achieve success in English language learning while maintaining cultural identity .

This inculcation of immigrants is not a new problem and the United States is founded upon rising to the challenge yet one important learning is that solutions remain elusive. There is a fundamental problem in finding a balance between allowing immigrant English learners to benefit from specialized English education while still allowing those students time to interact with their surrounding community of native English speakers, and at the same time, maintaining their original cultural identity.   

Communities have already begun their work to assist immigrant families learning English while retaining cultural identity.  Across the United States, there are organizations specifically designed to help immigrants improve their English proficiency. However, the coverage of and access to such organizations is inconsistent geographically.  Furthermore, awareness of some organizations is low which restricts positive impact.  Lastly, while many grassroots organizations addressing immigrant literacy are productive, more work needs to be accomplished in concert with public school programs to optimize the efforts to acculturate new Americans including quickly addressing literacy issues.