English Learners Study Immigration
Students in Jennifer Burns’ and Fern Seltzer’s U.S.-Va. Government for English Learners at South Lakes High have been researching and studying immigration in the U.S. They looked at data and researched a self-selected topic, including DREAMers, deportation, or the wall-national emergency. The students’ projects revealed a depth of research and analysis of both sides of their issue. Some of the students entered South Lakes speaking little or no English only months ago, and displayed an impressive knowledge of both the language and their topic. For this project, the teachers provided graphic organizers and sentence starters and they even rewrote some of the articles that students used for research so that the reading level would be appropriate for their students. Student conclusions about the wall included environmental impact, viability, and allocation of funds that could be used to help families with food and housing or for other measures that would protect the country. Student conclusions about DREAMers and about deportation included basic human rights, separation of families, and the impact on the country of losing valuable tax-paying workers. The assignment was structured as a Project-Based Learning opportunity.