The Great Debate

By: Megan Wessel

Structured English Language Immersion

English Language Immersion is structured way and method to learn direct language learning approach that is based off of monolingual communication. English language learners (ELLs) are forced to learn English as this helps them in communities where a majority of people speak English.

Students who are in a structured language immersion program acquire skill in structured and uninterrupted lessons based on the program of study.

Structured English Immersion vs. Bilingual Education

The Great Debate

- Students with an English proficiency in public schools are continuing to grow as this term is being limited.

- The debate over which is the best way to educate students with limited english proficiency (SEI) has been expanded.

- Bilingual education and structured English immersion (SEI) are both the two main programs that are under debate.

- ELL students learning English while also learning other subjects has caused great debate on this program.

- Voters in the year 2000 turned down bilingual education which required Arizona to now follow and obey the terms of the SEI program.

- By using the SEI program allows students to learn and understand faster as well as helping them with their cognitive growth.

Pros for English Immersion

- Students will learn to be bilingual which will give them more opportunities to speak more than one language and continue to be able to speak their native language.

- Every year, students will upgrade in proficiency while being involved in the English immersion program.

- Social and economic welfare will be a big advantage as students will be able to help in this area.

- All ELL students will be at the same English speaking quality.

- English only philosophy will be contributed to.

Structured English Immersion (SEI)

- Four hours a day will be given to the students for in-depth English language apart from their normal activities.

- ELL students are positioned with other students who only speak English.

- With this program, it follows precise guidelines so that the students will engage and learn English in a small amount of time.

- One year is given to the students to grow skilled in this program.

- The students should be required to show Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP) in order to see if their language skills were met in the program.

For more information you can visit one of these websites:


Jenkins, J. (2009, December 11). Bilingual Education vs. English Immersion. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from

Sievert, J. (2007, December 1). Evaluation of Structured English Immersion and Bilingual Education on Reading Skills of Limited English Proficient Students in California and Texas. Retrieved January 16, 2015, from

English Language Learners (ELL). (2011, January 1). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from the Classroom/How Students Are Supported/English Language Learners (ELL)

Structured English Immersion Models of the Arizona English Language Learners Task Force. (2008, May 14). Retrieved January 16, 2015, from