It is no surprise that the demographics of the United States have become increasingly diverse (see my pages on culture for more specific statistics.) Many people are often surprised to find out that it’s not just urban areas like Chicago, LA, Miami, New York and border states that are changing. This NPR article Helping Immigrant Students Catch Up Fast – It Takes a Whole School, by Sophia Alvarez Boyd shows an example in Maryland where at Langley Park, “87 percent of students are Spanish-speaking. Out of 176 students, 24 countries are represented and 15 languages are spoken at home, not including English.” Teachers and students are faced with problems that are “two-fold. Not only are they dealing with trauma, but they also belong to one of the most marginalized student populations.”
Some people may see articles like this and focus on the negatives like “How can teachers meet the needs of so many diverse students?” “How can teachers help students overcome trauma, learn English and content and be successful in their new countries? There are too many barriers!” This article has a more positive mood however, because it highlights that every teacher at the school is a language teacher (although it has its challenges!) and that community partnerships are critical in helping students.