The Great Wall of “English Only”: Teacher Perceptions of Classroom Ecology in Arizona’s Post-Proposition 203 Era

Mariella M. Espinoza-Herold

Abstract


In 2000, Arizona voters enacted Proposition 203, which limited the use of children’s native language in public schools and instead, mandated an accelerated one-year English immersion model for children with limited English proficiency.  This study examines the results of a 20-question survey and follow-up interviews with 117 Arizona K-12 teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) to determine their views on the effects of the “English–only” model on teaching and learning. The results revealed that restrictive language policies have upset the balance of classroom ecology, resulting in teacher frustration and concern. Teachers’ recommendations to improve ELL education are also discussed.


Keywords


bilingual education; English language learners; language policy; Structured English immersion

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The NABE Journal of Research and Practice is a publication of the National Association for Bilingual Education in association with the Northern Arizona University College of Education.  For more information, visit About the journal.

The author(s) of each article appearing in this Journal is/are solely responsible for the content thereof; the publication of an article shall not constitute or be deemed to constitute any representation by the Editors, the National Association of Bilingual Education, or Northern Arizona University that the data presented therein are correct or sufficient to support the conclusions reached or that the experiment design or methodology is adequate.