Some ELLs are introduced to English in some sort of way at home and at an early age. Oftentimes, however, this is in a decontextualized fashion and children who have had not had sufficient outside interaction with precise language practice do not function properly when they are placed in a regular classroom. "Educators should not categorize these children as having language disabilities; rather they should recognize that a sociocultural factor has influenced the children's verbal performance and has pinpointed the area that must be addressed by oral language instruction in the classroom" (Ruiz, 2008, pg. 1).
Knowledge about print is another area of interest in this particular category. This is particularly important because a child's reading abilities are derived from their knowledge of print and related areas. Knowledge of print begins before a child even begins school. At that time, they also start to learn how to associate letters with sounds (Ruiz, 2008).
Background knowledge is another sociocultural influence on ELLs. ...
anguage learners with limited English proficiency can do as well as more proficient students on reading comprehension tasks when they do prereading activities that activate and extend the background knowledge pertinent to the tasks" (Ruiz, 2008, pg. 1).
The last sociocultural component that has been identified for ELLs is sense of story. "That is, an internal sense of the usual components of a story: setting, main character(s), problem, attempts to resolve the problem, character reactions to the attempts, and resolution" (Ruiz, 2008, pg. 1).
Bilingualism and Home Language Use
There is much controversy surrounding whether or not learning more than one language at a young age will confuse a child and hinder his or her progress and school. However, research shows that there are many benefits for bilingual children and the sooner they start utilizing a second language, the better. According to IRC (2008, pg. 1), "A large number of research studies show very clearly that bilingualism can increase children's language abilities and help their progress in school. However, for children to experience these beneficial effects of bilingualism, it is important that both their home and school languages continue to develop. Children who can read and write as well as speak two languages have a major advantage not just in school but also in finding jobs after school." The problem with bilingualism in schools occurs when children do not have a solid first-language foundation and then are not taught or encouraged to use their initial language (IRC, 2008).
Parental and Community Resources for English Acquisition
There are federal and state programs readily available to ELLs, but many individuals do not take advantage of them or do not know how to gain access to them. There are