Elementary-Aged Melting Pot: Reflections on ESL Teachings A Western North Carolina Case Study

Hannah Sasser


The United States is known as the melting pot of the world because of the unique culture created from the many immigrants that remained here over time, framing the America of today. As new immigrants move to the U.S., there is a growing need for English as a Second Language (ESL) programs; especially with 381 different languages spoken throughout the country, the need is becoming apparent to educators and employers alike.[i] There are many ways in which an ESL program can be set up, but it is necessary that the school has general knowledge of a child’s background and the resources necessary to help them succeed. It has proven difficult to meet the necessities of the ESL students and requirements under the No Child Left Behind act because ESL students tend to struggle more so than their English-speaking peers and there are not enough resources to distribute to this population. In Buncombe County, North Carolina, an elementary school walks through how their ESL program is set up and what they have done to alleviate the challenges ESL students face in a way that keeps them moving successfully through their educational career. The methods used at this school, Emma Elementary, help to combat the main issues ESL students have when it comes to moving throughout the public school system in America.  The importance of ESL courses in the public school system are outlined throughout the paper, with more precise emphasis in the localized case study of Emma Elementary.

[i] Camille Ryan, "Language Use in the United States: 2011," American Community Survey Reports 22 (2011): 2, Census,. U.S. Department of Commerce, 2011, Web, 10 Nov. 2015.


English as a Second Language, Education, North Carolina

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