Something I have been pondering is how educators of ELLs are ensuring that ELLs are truly prepared for some of the barriers they will face when they are ready to graduate high school and begin their journey into adulthood. For example, in Arizona, students who don’t pass all sections of the AIMS test (an exit exam) don’t get their high school diploma. Then if they don’t have a high school diploma they can’t go to a University and some employers won’t hire them. Unfortunately, this requirement is affecting some students whose first language is something other than English. Then, another barrier is that if they can’t prove their parents are legal residence of the state where they want to go to college, then the student can be denied in-state tuition and financial aid. Out-of -state tuition can cost 3 times as much. Here is an article from the New York Times listing the states that offer illegal immigrants in-state tuition and the states that require illegal immigrants to pay out-of-state tuition.
As an educator, how are you preparing your ELLs for some of the barriers they might face such as passing their “exit exams” to earn their high school diploma or qualifying for in-state tuition? How are you educating them about their options to attend and pay for college or get a job after high school? What if your ELL can't get a driver's license?