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NCTE Position Statement

Resolution on Developing and Maintaining Fluency in More than One Language

1997 NCTE Annual Business Meeting in Detroit, Michigan


Literacy transfers across languages. Current research confirms the fact that English language learners acquire English more easily if they are literate in their native language. Validating and supporting their native language and culture empowers students, resulting in academic and social benefits. Proficiency in more than one language is a decided intellectual and emotional advantage. Exclusion of students' language, culture, and experience from the classroom places students at a disadvantage in classroom interaction and can hinder their successful acquisition of English. Be it therefore


Resolved, that the National Council of Teachers of English continue to oppose any legislation that establishes any language as an official language and thus limits students' ability to maintain their first languages while acquiring literacy in new languages.

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