Synthesis: Emergent Bilinguals

Synthesis: Emergent Bilinguals

Emergent bilinguals are the newcomers in American learning institutions who are learning English as a second language from countries where English is not their primary language (Faltis, 2014). There is an increase in emergent bilinguals especially due to the influx of students from Spain and Asian countries with the majority being Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese dialects as their primary language. Understanding the characteristics such as the demographics and distribution of the emergent bilinguals can increase the ability to cater for their unique learning needs, but this has not been possible due to data inconsistency (Faltis, 2014).

According to the chapter, between 1995 and 2005 there was a 56% percent growth in emergent bilinguals and by 2014 from 2008 they grew by 10.1% which shows a potential of future growth in the overall population and the need to make policies that address their learning needs (García&Kleifgen, 2018). However, the number of fluent bilinguals has also been growing rapidly which has shown a 292% growth by 2014 from 1979 indicating a significant transition from emergent bilinguals who have problems speaking English and the fluent bilinguals who can speak fluent English(García&Kleifgen, 2018).

The civil rights legislation has played a significant role in ensuring that the learning needs of the emergent bilinguals are met by schools (García&Kleifgen, 2018). Therefore,  purposeole of identifying and catering for the emergent bilingual learning needs falls under the schools according to the department of education. However, there has been a significant number of students who hide their bilingual status due to the fear of stigmatization which has been a drawback to the school system for identifying the emergent bilinguals and labeling them as English learners (Cain, 2018).

There is significant evidence that policies have contributto in the classification of emergent learners with the aim of facilitating their needs in schools (Ascenzi-Moreno, 2018). These policies such as the No Child Left Behind and the Civil Rights Legislation have bevitalkey in facilitating the ability of state and federal agencies and schools to be able to classify emergent bilingual students. Southeastern and Midwestern states such as South Carolina have experienced tmost substantialest growth the of bilingual population from 1997 to 2014 with the highest population attendiurban-basedsed schools (García&Kleifgen, 2018).

This synthesis indicates a growing number of emergent bilinguals and aan excellentgood transition to fluent bilinguals due to the efficient identification process and schools ability to meet their English learning needs. However, there  is need to address the growing stigma against the bilinguals which inhibit a large percentage of them from being able to identify themselves with the schools as bilinguals.




Ascenzi-Moreno, L. (2018). Translanguaging and Responsive Assessment Adaptations: Emergent Bilingual Readers through the Lens of Possibility. Retrieved from

Cain, A. A. (2018). Seven Tips for Teachers of Newcomer Emergent Bilingual Students. The Reading Teacher71(4), 485-490.

Faltis, C. (2014). Language, language development and teaching English to emergent bilingual users: Challenging the common knowledge theory in teacher education & K-12 school settings. Association of Mexican American Educators Journal7(2).

García, O., &Kleifgen, J. A. (2018). Educating emergent bilinguals: Policies, programs, and practices for English learners. New York Teachers College Press.

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