The campaigna partnership between the National Association for Bilingual Education, the Santa Clara, California, County Office of Education, and the California Association for Bilingual Educationfocuses on the fact that a name is more than just a name: Its one of the first things children recognize, one of the first words they learn to say, its how the world identifies them. For students, especially the children of immigrants or those who are English-language learners, a teacher who knows their name and can pronounce it correctly signals respect and marks a critical step in helping them adjust to school. But for many ELLs, a mispronounced name is often the first of many slights they experience in classrooms; theyre already unlikely to see educators who are like them, teachers who speak their language, or a curriculum that reflects their culture. It can also hinder academic progress. A divide already exists between many English learners and immigrant students and their native English speaking peers. Despite a national increase in the overall graduation rate, the dropout rate for foreign-born and immigrant students remains above 30 percent, three times that of U.S.-born white students.
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