Educational Equity Data Talk: Emergent Bilingual Students

In this month’s talk, we discussed data on Emergent Bilingual students in Monterey County. We prefer the term “Emergent Bilingual” (as opposed to the more commonly used term “English Learner” used in official state reporting) because it focuses on the acquisition and use of a students’ full linguistic repertoire for learning and communicating with others. Emergent Bilingual (EB) reflects who racialized students truly are: bilingual and bicultural.

61% of students in Monterey County enter school speaking a language other than English, the higher percentage among California counties. 36% of students across all grades are currently designated as English learners (emergent bilinguals). 93% of multilingual students speak Spanish, with several other languages also represented: Mixteco (1%), other non-English languages (1%), Arabic (0.5%), and Filipino (0.4%). Rates of bilingual/EB students also vary across the region – 72% of students from South County are bilingual/EB compared to only 36% of students on the Monterey Peninsula.

About half of EB students reclassify as English proficient by high school and about 13% are rated at Level 4 (“well developed”) on the ELPAC, the assessment that is administered annually to measure progress in English language development. 45% of students with a disability are also learning English and the rates of reclassification are lower for EB students with a disability (41% vs 72% in 9th grade).

Soledad Unified School District earns a Bright Spots designation for reclassification of EB students, scoring 3-10 percentage points higher than the county average in the 7th, 9th, and 12th grades.

Access the talk recording, slides, and data sets here:

Please join us for next month’s data talk in which we will look at financial aid applications (FAFSA and California Dream Act Application) in Monterey County. We welcome all members of the community to come learn about relevant education topics – data expertise is not required to attend. To be notified about the time and date and receive the Zoom link, subscribe to our newsletter.