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General Laws

Section 4. English language education

Subject to the exceptions provided in Section 5 of this chapter, all children in Massachusetts public schools shall be taught English by being taught in English and all children shall be placed in English language classrooms. Children who are English learners shall be educated through sheltered English immersion during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one school year, provided, however, that kindergarten English learners shall be educated either in sheltered English immersion or English language mainstream classrooms with assistance in English language acquisition, including, but not limited to, English as a second language, so-called. Local schools shall be permitted but not required to place in the same classroom English learners of different ages but whose degree of English proficiency is similar. Local schools shall be encouraged to mix together in the same classroom English learners from different native-language groups but with the same degree of English fluency. Once English learners acquire a good working knowledge of English and are able to do regular school work in English, they shall no longer be classified as English learners and shall be transferred to English language mainstream classrooms. Foreign language classes for children who already know English, 2-way bilingual programs for students in kindergarten through grade 12 and special education programs for physically or mentally impaired students shall be unaffected.

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