As Foreign Language Becomes More Prevalent NYC Students Suffer

Of New York City students who entered the school system in the first grade, only 36 percent were able to pass an English language proficiency test last year during the seventh grade, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Eva Moskowitz, a former city councilwoman requested the report from the Department of Education. She told the news source that it should not take a student six years to learn a language.

Out of the 1.1 million children who are enrolled in NYC public schools, the newspaper said 14 percent are English language learners. Approximately 20 percent of these students have come to the U.S. in the past two years, while approximately 70 percent have received six or more years of language lessons in the United States.

Nationally, the U.S. Census shows that more Americans arecurrently speaking a language other than English at home. In 1980, a total of 11 percent of the U.S. population reported speaking a foreign language at home. By 2000, that number jumped to 18 percent.

According to the Census, the most common languages spoken at home in 2000 were Chinese, French and German. Individuals who speak these languages but want to improve their English grammar may be interested in translation software tools.

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