English Language Learners: Which approaches best impact achievement ? - FAQ

English Language Learners: Which approaches best impact achievement ?

"I'm Not Going to Be, Like, for the AP": English Language Learners' Limited Access to Advanced College-Preparatory Courses in High School
Purpose: To examine the practices that reduce the opportunities of high school ELL students to participate in more rigorous academic and college-preparatory coursework
Author(s): Kanno, Yasuko; Kangas, Sara E. N.
Organization(s): Temple University
Publication: American Educational Research Journal
Published on: 10/1/2014
Findings/Results: Regardless of participants' academic levels and performance, they were confined largely to ELL and low-track courses, a pattern than appeared to reflect the experience of all ELLs at the school.

Contributing Factors
  • Course seq...

School Support, Parental Involvement, and Academic and Social-Emotional Outcomes for English Language Learners
Purpose: To examine the relationships among school support, parental school involvement, and academic and social-emotional outcomes for children who are English language learners
Issue/Topic: P-3 English Language Learners (ELL)
Author(s): Adelson, Jill; Niehaus, Kate
Organization(s): University of South Carolina; University of Louisville
Publication: American Educational Research Association
Published on: 4/21/2014
Findings/Results: Six key findings:
  • Numerous school-and student-level characteristics were significantly associated with the level of support in English Language Learners' (ELL) school and with important student outcomes for ELLs.
  • Higher...

Effectiveness of Four Instructional Programs Designed to Serve English Language Learners: Variation by Ethnicity and Initial Language Proficiency
Purpose: To look longitudinally at the results of four programs for ELs while including math and EL children who aren't Latino. The four programs are: transitional bilingual, exclusively for ELs which rapidly increases English for a quick transition to English only; developmental bilingual, like transitional but longer-term; dual immersion, similar to developmental but lasts longer and includes native English speakers with the goal that both groups become bilingual; and English only English immersion.
Issue/Topic: English Language Learner/Bilingual
Author(s): Valentino, Rachel; Reardon, Sean F.
Organization(s): Stanford University
Publication: Center for Education Policy Analysis, Stanford University
Published on: 3/1/2014
  • In the short run (by second grade), there are substantial differences in the academic performance in English language acquisition and math among English learners who start in different EL instructional programs in kindergarten.
  • Despi...

Investigating Whether and When English Learners Are Reclassified Into Mainstream Classrooms in the United States: A Discrete-Time Survival Analysis
Purpose: To determine whether and when English learner students exited EL programs and their ability to access the mainstream curricula in public schools following reclassification as fluent English proficient
Issue/Topic: English Language Learner/Bilingual
Author(s): Slama, Rachel
Publication: American Educational Research Journal
Published on: 1/1/2014
  • Half of the English learner (EL) students in the dataset were reclassified as fluent English proficient within three years of kindergarten (or by second grade), and three-quarters were reclassified by seventh grade.
  • Spanish-spea...

Nearly 50 Years Post-Jim Crow: Persisting and Expansive School Segregration for African American, Latina/o, and ELL Students in Texas
Purpose: To address segregation of English language learners (ELL) in Texas, and to examine the association between high stakes accountability ratings and segregation by race/ethnicity, economic disadvantage, and language proficiency
Issue/Topic: English Language Learner/Bilingual; Desegregation
Author(s): Holme, Jennifer; Heilig, Julian
Organization(s): University of Texas at Austin
Publication: Education and Urban Society
Published on: 8/16/2013
  • ELL students in Texas experience high levels of segregation in schools by race, poverty, and language status. Reasons for the growing segregation are less clear, but there are a number of potential causes indicated within the literature.

The Gap That Can't Go Away: The Catch-22 of Reclassification in Monitoring the Progress of English Learners
Purpose: To examine the effects of including and excluding reclassified ELLs from the analysis of long-term ELL progress
Issue/Topic: English Language Learner/Bilingual
Author(s): Saunders, William; Marcelletti, David
Publication: Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Published on: 6/1/2013
Findings/Results: Because of the current ELL tracking methods, analyses of ELLs' progress typically do not include progress of reclassified ELLs. It appears that ELLs' achievement levels (in the aggregate) decline over time because the most successful ELLs are &quo...

Preparing Teachers of English Language Learners: Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications
Purpose: To determine how state requirements for specialist and mainstream teacher certification are related to Hispanic English Language Learners' (ELL) reading outcomes and the degree to which teacher certification requirements reflect current theory and practice for ELL teachers
Issue/Topic: English Language Learner/Bilingual
Author(s): Lopez, Francesca; Gundrum, Becky; Scanlan, Martin
Publication: Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
Published on: 3/11/2013
Findings/Results: Researchers compared reading outcomes of 4th grade Hispanic ELLs against all state teacher certification requirements in the following categories: teaching methods (training in bilingual and/or English as a Second Language education methods); curriculum (...

Estimating the Impact of the Massachusetts English Immersion Law on Limited English Proficient Students' Reading Achievement
Purpose: To examine the effects of the English-only Massachusetts ballot initiative, Question 2, on limited English proficient students' academic performance. Question 2 mandated sheltered English immersion as the primary means of instruction for English language learners in Massachusetts.
Issue/Topic: Bilingual/ESL
Author(s): Guo, Qian; Koretz, Daniel
Organization(s): Harvard School of Education
Publication: Educational Policy
Published on: 1/1/2013
  • The English immersion law had no statistically significant, negative effect on the MCAS reading performance of the LEP third graders.

No Child Left Bilingual: Accountability and the Elimination of Bilingual Education Programs in New York City Schools
Purpose: To understand why the number of transitional bilingual programs is declining in New York City schools
Author(s): Solorza, Cristian; Menken, Kate
Organization(s): Educational Policy
Publication: Educational Policy
Published on: 12/21/2012
Findings/Results: There is a link between city, state, and federal test-based accountability programs (such as No Child Left Behind) and the loss of bilingual education programs in New York City schools.

Teachers and administrators identified the following as key fa...

Home Language Survey Practices in the Initial Identification of English Learners in the United States
Purpose: To review existing HLS practices, place wider attention on the validity concerns that arise from current HLS practices, and make recommendations to state and federal policymakers and educators
Issue/Topic: English Language Learner/Bilingual
Author(s): Bailey, Alison; Kelly, Kimberly
Organization(s): UCLA
Publication: Educational Policy
Published on: 5/18/2012
  • The use of home language surveys as an effective method for identifying English learner students warrants further scrutiny for two reasons:
  1. Home language surveys typically do not focus on the mor...

The Cost of Providing an Adequate Education to English Language Learners: A Review of the Literature
Purpose: To understand the cost study literature as it relates to the treatment of ELL students, both in terms of adequacy and generating funding recommendations, in the four major costing out methodologies and to present future avenues for ELL cost study research.
Issue/Topic: Bilingual/ESL; Finance--Funding Formulas
Author(s): Jimenez-Castellanos, Oscar; Topper, Amelia
Publication: Review of Educational Research
Published on: 5/16/2012

Costing out studies largely underserve ELL students.  Studies either fail to mention ELL students altogether or aggregate them with low-income or special education students to generate an overall per pupil funding weight. Although this simplifies th...

Effective Reading Programs for Spanish Dominant English Language Learners (ELLs) in the Elementary Grades: A Synthesis of Research
Purpose: To review and synthesize research on effective reading interventions or strategies likely to improve English reading outcomes for Spanish-dominant English language learners in elementary school
Issue/Topic: English Language Learner/Bilingual; Reading/Literacy
Author(s): Alan C.K. Cheung; Robert E. Slavin
Organization(s): Johns Hopkins University; University of York
Publication: Best Evidence Encyclopedia
Published on: 3/1/2012
  • The findings support an increasingly accepted conclusion around instruction of ELL and language minority students: Quality of instruction is more important than language of instruction.
  • The largest and longest-term evaluations did not find...

What We Know About Second Language Acquisition: A Synthesis From Four Perspectives
Purpose: To demonstrate the value of integrating information from four bodies of work (foreign language education, child language research, sociocultural studies and psycholinguistics) in thinking about educational questions--in this case, perspectives on second language acquisition
Issue/Topic: Bilingual/ESL
Author(s): Burgess-Brigham, Renata; Dixon, L.; Gezer, Melike; Shin, Jee-Young; Snow, Catherine; Su, Jung-Hsuan; Wu, Shuang; Zhao, Jing
Organization(s): American Educational Research Association
Publication: Review of Educational Research
Published on: 2/15/2012
Findings/Results: What are the optimal conditions for second language acquisition?
  • There is no "one best way" to educate second language learners.
  • The quality of instruction and sufficient time

Urban Principals' Facilitation of English Language Learning in Public Schools
Purpose: To identify characteristics of effective English Language Learner (ELL) models, the factors that principals should consider when selecting a model to use to help immigrant students and the key role principals can play in facilitating ELL in urban schools.
Issue/Topic: Bilingual/ESL; Leadership--Principal/School Leadership
Author(s): Brogadir, Rebecca; Stufft, Derry
Organization(s): Milestones Day School; University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Publication: Education and Urban Society
Published on: 1/1/2011

Factors to Consider in Selecting a Model for ELL

  • The total number of language minority students in the school or school district, as well as whether these students are concentrated in one grade, one building or spread across...

Improving Education for English Language Learners: Research-Based Approaches
Purpose: To provide a comprehensive, user-friendly, review and analysis of recent research to inform and improve instructional practices in order to help English learners.
Issue/Topic: Bilingual/ESL
Author(s): Goldenberg, Claude; Saunders, Bill
Organization(s): Stanford University; UCLA
Published on: 6/1/2010

Guidelines Based on Relatively Strong Supporting Evidence from English Language Development (ELD) Research

  • Providing ELD instruction is better than not providing it.
  • ELD instruction should include interac...

Vocabulary Skills of Spanish-English Bilinguals: Impact of Mother-Child Language Interactions and Home Language and Literacy Support
Purpose: To explore whether demographic and exposure predictors and mother-child interaction predict child vocabulary outcomes, both in Spanish and English. Also, to discover whether these patterns in one language are associated with parallel skills in another language.
Issue/Topic: Bilingual/ESL
Author(s): Quiroz, Blanca; Snow, Catherine; Zhao, Jing
Organization(s): Harvard University Graduate School of Education; Texas A&M University
Publication: International Journal of Bilingualism
Published on: 1/1/2010

Features of the Latino families' home language use and literacy explained their children's vocabulary outcomes.

  1. Certain kinds of adult-child interactions can have a positive influence on the general cognitive skills underlyin...

Assessing English Language Learners' Opportunity to Learn Mathematics: Issues and Limitations
Purpose: To explore the relationship between students' ELL status and their level of opportunity to learn as a factor that may explain performance differences between ELL and non-ELL students
Issue/Topic: Bilingual/ESL
Author(s): Abedi, Jamal; Herman, Joan
Organization(s): University of California, Davis; University of California, Los Angeles
Publication: Teachers College Record
Published on: 1/1/2010
Findings/Results: 1. Opportunity to Learn (OTL) has important effects on student performance, even after controlling for students' prior ability and prior academic preparation.

2. ELL students report a lower level of OTL as compared with non-ELLs and such differenti...

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