Increasing Attention of ELL Students Needs

PRE-PROPOSAL 1. Media Artifact

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

If you click here you will be able to see my Media Artifact on Inner City Schools and Michigan's current need to both change their education funding allocations and tax payers need to be willing to spend more money on this common good deserved for all. ELL students often fall into these poor, urban schools. This media artifact hopefully gives you more of an idea about education discrepancies in our current system. 


2. Persona and POV statement Persona: Persona name: Trevor Allen Age: 7 years School/occupation: 2nd Grade Public School Student Location: Detroit, MI   Quote: "I didn't start the fight!'   About:
  • Lives with Dad and 3 other siblings in an apartment.
  • Has dyslexia. 
  • Tries very hard in school and is always attentive. 
  • To get all A's and read at grade level. 
  • To play as much soccer as possible. 
  • To learn how to drive one day.


POV Statement:
  • User: Trevor Allen is a hard-working, yet lower achieving kid in 2nd grade in the Detroit Public Schooling system.  
  • Need: Trevor needs access to a proper reading education that will cater to his dyslexia and lower-than-standard reading levels. 
  • Insight: Trevor can't get access to such a thing due to his elementary school being understaffed and underpaid, thus he can't get access to proper schooling. As a result, he feels excluded from his classroom and from the students, and he isn't getting as good of an education as he should be. 


3. Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: Having monthly seminars for teachers, parents, staff, students, etc. to increase awareness of ELL students and their needs. This is aimed at integrating the other side, anyone who isn't an ELL student, in doing their part in understanding different cultures and people other than their own/themselves.  

SOLUTION 2: Increasing ELL students exposure to American Culture through class exercises, in-school events, curriculum, and field trips. Integration into American culture will ease hesitations and anxiety related to living in a place where you don't feel comportable or might not feel like you belong. 

SOLUTION 3: A final potential solution would be creating a "buddy system", pairing an ELL student with a competent, teacher chosen non-ELL student. This will directly expose ELL children to non-ELL children of their age, something that ELL students might struggle with and might not feel comportable doing on their own. 



Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:

This would impact ELL students in Michigan, which compromises part of our population. 

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

I've spent this past year doing resesarch on Asylum Seekers and Refugees and their specific needs as displaced people. As I study education, I've realized that it's such an important aspect of a child's formative year's, and although it is important, our society doesn't treat it like it is. With the current state of education, ELL Students are largely at the bottom of the list when it comes to addressing their needs, and I think this is a huge problem. Hoepfully you do too!

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

I have been actively volunteering with a local food pantry/distributer, Food Gatherers. With any volunteering, it shows you a new population of people, animals, countries, or things that typically have less priviledge than you in one respect or another. That made me feel extremely guilty, as I was forced to directly address all the priviledges that I have and don't even think about. When people address their priviledge that can use it to help those who aren't, which makes this world better. 



Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).

CONSULTATION 1: Karen Killelea, mother of a child with autism. 

I found it very difficult to find consultations of people who directly work with ELL students, so I decided to go are more "education" and "under-resourced-persons" route and find consultations with people that were educated in this realm. Karen Killelea is the mother of a 21 year old boy with autism. I was able to talk to her about higher education oppourtunities for the special needs community and how education works for those who aren't going the typical "diploma route". It was valuable talking to someone who is not an educator but a mother, for she gave me an atypical perspective on education. 

CONSULTATION 2: Alex Kime, Lecturer at the School of Social Work

Alex Kime is a lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. They work a lot with inter-group relations and theory, and I tried to ask questions that would help me understand communities and the different aspects involved. I think this consultation was extremely important because a big part of the ELL student development process is integrating them with non-ELL students and culture, thus why it's valuable to talk to someone who works with inter-group dynamics.  


Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:

You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.

My topic coordinator commented below giving me comments on my proposal. The advice was very helpful! I added a reference to particular statistics on the topic which hopefully increases the need of attention to the topic.

I also was told to narrow down my operative clauses to one single solution, which has allowed me to make for a more doable change. 

Research process:

Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit.  In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.

Most of my research was done doing general searches on ELL student centered databases and other "grey literature" that is pertinent to ELL students. At first I wanted my research/proposal to be more academic focused and improving ELL student outcomes in that realm, but I quickly realized that was too large of scope for me to tackle this topic in simply a semester. So, I then decided to focus solely on integration, intergroup practice, and other social factors that could integrate students more positively and effectively. 

Author contributions:

Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?

Anna Vanneste


The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.

Preambulatory clauses

These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.

WHEREAS....There is a considerable gap between ELL and non-ELL student academic achievment. 

WHEREAS....ELL students reported often feeling separate and isolated from their NON-ELL peers. 

WHEREAS....ELL students are diverse in language and academic abilities, but are not treated like so. 

(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)

Operative clauses

These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).


I propose to Increase ELL students exposure to American Culture through things like course curriculum, in-school events/activities, field trips, and in-school buddy systems. Integration into American culture will ease hesitations and anxiety related to living in a place where one may not feel comportable learning or one might not feel like they belong. This oppourtunity would also allow non-ELL students to interact with ELL students more and expand their knowledge.

One method of integration could be through a "buddy system", which would pair an ELL student with a competent, teacher-chosen non-ELL student. This would directly expose ELL children to non-ELL children of their age, which will also directly expose them to American Culture and way of life. 

Through curriculum, schools with (and perhaps without) ELL students could have required content courses that tackles both American culture and culture of other places, hopefully those where their ELL students are from. 

In-school events and activities could include a more school-wide approach to educating about American Culture and other cultures as well as bring in speakers or guests who can speak about these topics. 

Finally, field trips to American Cultural sights, museums, cultural events, etc. would be an entertaining and fun way to help with culture-shock and integration. 

In the end, the goal of this proposal is to increase awareness about the potential issues ELL students may face while attending American schools and ways in which we can combat this issue. I do hope you'll consider my proposal!

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)


What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. We shouldn't be focusing on people who can't speak English when our education system is already messed up for those who can. Why are we focusing on foreigners, aka. 

  • Nearly all ELL students were born in the United States or came here legally. They're citizens of the United States and deserve the same rights as anyone else. 

2. Students from immigrant are often testing at higher rates then students who have English as their first language. 

  • Not all immigrants are ELL students, and those immigrants who happen to be ELL are often the ones that are actually facing the worst of the education system. Although immigrants are outperforming non-immigrants, ELL students are not outperforming non-ELL students. 
Costs and funding:

What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from?  Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?  

I tried as much as possible to avoid money when it came to this proposal because I know 1.  people don't like paying taxes and 2. our current Michigan government doesn't like allocating the proper amount of money needed for education. With that said, everything I proposed requires minimal if not no money. Local and district grants could easily cover this if it was propsed well enough to them. Those objected to it are those I named earlier, taxpayers and our right-leaning govenment, thus why I'd like to stay out of their pockets. 


These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.



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Total votes: 20