Posted on 12/17/2018 at 09:47 AM by Blog Experts

The data has been posted by Education Week! The five most common native languages of English learners, in the United States, is as follows: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese and Haitian Creole. These native languages have an effect on our K-12 public schools according to the U.S. Department of Education via the Title III State Formula Grant Program.

Spanish is by the far the most predominant spoken first language of many English language households. As that may be, the Arabic language has increased rapidly since the 2013-14 school year. Over 36 states have reported it as a top five language spoken at students’ homes. The Chinese language has also increased with school reports since 2013-14.  The increase in the native Chinese-speaking students is up by 2.4 percent. As that may be, the language use does not distinguish between the variations of Cantonese and/or Mandarin speakers.

Similarly, as more families have migrated due to weather, jobs and/or family, the use of Vietnamese and Haitian Creole is also more prevalent in school settings. Although, these languages may not be as used in the Midwest as much, both languages are dominant on the East coast in the United States.

With such data presented, it must also be noted that American Indian and Alaska Native languages have decreased with use. Both were represented in the top five most common native languages but has recently dropped with use. This is captured in the biennial report. See the full report at:

With such information provided, the question needs to be asked; are we qualified as a public-school system to educate the diversity, which is represented by our English learners? It is felt that most schools will probably feel ill equipped with any and/or most languages beyond Spanish. Thus, we need to continue to make gains as a system with educating ourselves about the sheer diversity which is seen by our students who enter the K-12 school system. If the data trends continue, the numbers and “superdiverse” English learners will continue to expand by the year 2025. It is with great hope our Department of Education will continue to see the need for quality professional development and funding for dual language services.

Here is a map of Northwest AEA’s districts and documented EL Students:

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