Benefi ts and Costs of Exercising Agency: A Case Study of an English Learner Navigating a Four-Year University
English learners (ELs) have progressively become a prominent and fast growing population on many university campuses. ELs are defi ned here as students whose fi rst language is not English and who may be in need of English language support. These students have been identifi ed by educational institutions as having limited English profi ciency. ELs represent 10.8% of the total U.S. K-12 public school enrollment (National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, 2011). In the United States, approximately 13% of undergraduate students speak a language other than English at home (NCES, 2002). These demographic trends raise critical questions regarding ELs’ progression, barriers, and equality in higher education institutions. Information regarding these students’ experiences is vital in the pursuit of social equality for linguistic minorities.