23 Feb 2017
February 23, 2017
About 1 out of every 10 public school students in the United States right now is learning to speak English. They’re called ELLs, for “English Language Learners.” There are nearly 5 million of them, and educating them – in English and all the other subjects and skills they’ll need – is one of the biggest challenges in U.S. public education today. As part of our reporting project, 5 Million Voices, we set out to gather up all the data and information we could find about who these students are and how they’re being taught. The vast majority – some 3.8 million ELL students – speak Spanish. But there are lots of other languages too, including Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Arabic and Vietnamese. Most ELLs were born in the United States, and are U.S. citizens. Read more.