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ERIC Number: EJ1089007
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
De Facto Language Policy in Legislation Defining Adult Basic Education in the United States
Vanek, Jenifer
Language Policy, v15 n1 p71-95 Feb 2016
This paper investigates the impact of differing interpretation of federal education policy in three different states. The policy, the Workforce Investment Act Title II, has defined the services provided for adult English language learners (ELLs) enrolled in Adult Basic Education programs in the United States since it was passed in 1998. At the time the Act was legislated, ELL success in school and work did not depend on their capacity to use online technology; consequently, WIA II addressed neither limitations nor support for digital literacy instruction. This paper describes how over time this created a lack of fit between the policy and an increasingly technological reality. This misalignment resulted in de facto language policy that limited learner access to English language instruction differently in each of the states, at times negatively impacting ELL ability to prepare for full participation in civic and economic life in the US. The paper includes a discussion about key changes evident in new legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act passed in 2014, which supplants WIA II, and how it may mitigate the issue of inadequate digital literacy support for English language learners.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Basic Education; Adult Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Workforce Investment Act 1998 Title II
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A