New Report Examines Internet Disparity Among English Language Learners

Internet Disparity: CAL Commentary


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on whether Internet access is a right, but on schooling, the resounding answer is yes. So at a time when access to the Internet equals access to education, how is the nationwide Internet disparity issue affecting students, especially English learners (ELs), and stripping away their right to an education? 

In Internet Disparity Challenges: Schooling for AllCenter for Applied Linguistics researcher, Dr. Beatriz Arias, explores the newly created group of ELs without access to the Internet, and therefore, online instruction. She cautions that “if we do not address the issue of Internet disparity today, we will continue to deny educational opportunities to ELs into the next school year and beyond.” 

Internet Disparity Challenges is a timely report for policymakers, principals and supervisors looking to bridge the gap for all students.

“It is clear from the data that access to the Internet is leaving a critical share of students underserved. Just as schooling is available to all students in this nation, access to schooling through the Internet must also be universal.”

“For those ELs without Internet access, we have created a new group of ELs who now have interrupted schooling.”

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) is a non-profit organization founded in 1959. Headquartered in Washington DC, CAL has earned an international reputation for its contributions to the fields of bilingual and dual language education, English as a second language, world languages education, language policy, assessment, immigrant and refugee integration, literacy, dialect studies, and the education of linguistically and culturally diverse adults and children. CAL’s mission is to promote language learning and cultural understanding by serving as a trusted resource for research, services, and policy analysis. Through its work, CAL seeks solutions to issues involving language and culture as they relate to access and equity in education and society around the globe.


Trey Calvin 

Communications Director 

Posted On May 28, 2020
Posted On May 28, 2020