The Macksey Journal


This qualitative study examines the relationship between Elementary teachers and emergent bilingual students formerly known as ESL (English as a second language) or ELL (English Language learners). Emergent bilinguals are students that speak another language other than English at home. These students become emergent bilinguals by acquiring English at school and continue to practice their native language at home (Garcia, et. al, 2018). Data was collected from interviewing a former emergent bilingual student enrolled at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, a three-week field study at an Elementary school, and scholarly articles. One of the most misunderstood issues in prekindergarten to 12th-grade education today is how to educate students who are not deemed proficient in English (Garcia & Kleifgen, 2018). There is a misconception that many emergent bilingual students are recent immigrants or foreigners (Garcia, et. al, 2018). Zong and Batalova (2015a) report that 77% of emergent bilinguals are U.S born. The Department of Education shows that there are 5 million students with limited English skills while there is only one qualified teacher for every 100 ELLs (Zhao, 2002). Findings suggest that one of the most effective programs to aid these students are Dual Language Immersion (DLI) classrooms. One implication is for teachers to examine their state standards and adjust the curriculum that best suit the need for these students to help bridge the gap.