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Research Reports

High School ELLs

A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners in Secondary School

Summary: Cognitive strategies, such as predicting, summarizing, and reflecting — strategies used by experienced readers and writers — are vital to the development of academic literacy, but these strategies are too rarely taught explicitly, especially to English Language Learners (ELLs). This study reports the results of a California Writing Project study in which 55 teachers implemented a cognitive-strategies approach to reading and writing instruction for their ELL secondary students over an eight-year period and includes a detailed description of a teacher's cognitive strategies "tool kit."

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Tags: Comprehension; Curriculum; Instructional Programs; Intervention; Motivation; Reading; Writing;

Copyright 2007 by the National Council of Teachers of English. Used with permission. Olson, C.B. and Land, R. (2007). A Cognitive Strategies Approach to Reading and Writing Instruction for English Language Learners in Secondary School. Research in the Teaching of English, 41(3), http://www.ncte.org/pubs/journals/rte/articles/126617.htm.

Best Practices for Adolescent ELLs

Author: Judith Rance-Roney

Summary: This report discusses the diversity that is so characteristic of the adolescent ELL population and presents "promising principles and practices" that support effective instruction.

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Tags: Curriculum; Differentiated Instruction; Instructional Programs; Intervention; Placement;

Target Population: High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: Which practices best support effective instruction of adolescent ELLs?

Findings:
A number of principles and practices support improved achievement for adolescent ELLs as well as for their native-English-speaking peers:

  • A schoolwide, team-based support network: all school educators must assume shared responsibility for the achievement of ELLs
  • A dual curriculum that promotes the language development of ELLs as well as their general academic needs
  • Global community classrooms that find a middle ground between integrating ELLs who are recent immigrants with the general school population and segregating them in self-contained classrooms or schools
  • Extended time to learn: all available time in ELLs' school day should be used for effective instruction-including the idea of implementing flexible student pathwasy
  • Individual progress records: maintenance of records of individual ELLs' linguistic and academic history and ongoing progress, with easy availability teachers and other key personnel

Rance-Roney, J. (2009, April). “Best Practices for Adolescent ELLs.” Educational Leadership. 66(7). 32-37.

Building Capacity to Promote College- and Career Readiness for Secondary English Language Learners

Author: American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF)

Summary: There is a growing need for states to improve academic performance and language proficiency of ELLs. A major focus of attention is the college and career readiness of ELLs and what practices and policies need to be enacted to increase the capacity for these students to succeed. The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) met with five state policy leaders in Austin, TX to discuss and examine potential solutions.

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Tags: Comprehension; Intervention; Language Proficiency; Struggling Readers;

Target Population: Post-secondary

Research Questions the Report Poses: What policies are practices exist/should be developed to ensure to success of adolescent second-language learners?

Findings:

  • Building Human Capital: Providing Educators with Tools to Support ELLs
  • Meeting the Demand for ESL Specialists
  • The Role of Partnerships and Cross-Systems Collaboration
  • Recognizing the Diversity of the ELL Population and Differentiating Support
  • College Access for ELL Students

Policy Recommendations:

  • Build the capacity of all educators, including content-area teachers, to provide effective instruction for ELLs
  • Support programs that develop a pipeline of educators who are trained and certified to specialize in ESL instruction
  • Promote institutional partnerships and cross-systems collaboration
  • Ensure that policies are responsive to the diversity of the ELL population.
  • Support opportunities for postsecondary education and careers for immigrant students.

Building Capacity to Promote College- and Career Readiness for Secondary English Language Learners: Policy Briefing featuring Austin, Texas. (2010.) Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum. Retrieved August 2, 2010 from: http://www.aypf.org/tripreports/2010/documents/Austin%20Building%20Capacity%20for%20ELLs%20Iss

Double the Work: Challenges and Solutions to Acquiring Language and Academic Literacy for Adolescent English Language Learners

Summary: Adolescent English Language Learners (ELLs), who must simultaneously learn English and age–appropriate subject material, perform double the work of their native language peers because they are held to the same grade-level standards for academic literacy. Moreover, the ELL population is comprised of a diverse range of learners who vary dramatically in their existing literacy levels, native languages, and cultural and educational backgrounds. This report is the effort of a panel of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to address six main challenges to improving academic literacy among ELLs, as well as proposed solutions and policy implications.

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Tags: Curriculum; Fluency; Instructional Programs; Intervention; Language Proficiency; Struggling Readers;

Short, D., & Fitzsimmons, S. (2007). Double the Work: Challenges and solutions to acquiring language and academic literacy for adolescent English language learners– A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.

Ensuring Academic Success for English Learners

Author: Laurie Olson, UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute

Summary: This report highlights nine elements of a strong academic program for ELLs based on three decades of research. Recommended best practices include accessible preschool programs, support for newcomers of all ages, and a focus on English language development.

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Tags: Books and Other Reading Materials; Curriculum; Differentiated Instruction; Intervention; Language Proficiency; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Reading;

Target Population: Preschool, Elementary, Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: What strategies or programs can educators adopt to create schools in which ELLs learn and thrive?

Findings:
A comprehensive system of schooling for ELLS includes the following nine elements:

  • High quality and accessible preschool education
  • Supports for newcomers to meet needs of transition
  • A comprehensive program of English Language development
  • A program providing full access to challenging curriculum
  • High quality instruction and materials
  • Inclusive and affirming school climate
  • Valid, comprehensive, and useful assessments
  • Strong family and community partnerships
  • Schools structured to meet the particular needs of English learners.

Policy Recommendations:
Recommendations include:

  • Invest in building a qualified educator workforce;
  • Build a meaningful accountability system for English learners;
  • Assure that educators have the materials they need to deliver high quality English Language Development;
  • Demonstrate new models of successful schools for English learners

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:

University of California

Linguistic Minority Research Institute

4722 South Hall

Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3220

Olsen, L. (2006). Ensuring Academic Success for English Learners. University of California: Linguistic Minority Research Institute.

Improving Academic Preparation for College: What We Know and How State and Federal Policy Can Help

Author: Robin Chait & Andrea Venezia. Center for American Progress.

Summary: This article discusses students' academic performance during high school to prepare them for college. This article supports current survey results that show that students are interested in pursuing a college degree; however, the transition can be difficult due to their poor academic preparation. In the article, the authors discuss what it has been done now to improve academic preparation and the role of the federal and state policymakers to make a different in students' lives as prospect college students.

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Tags: American Indian ELL Students; Asian ELL Students; Curriculum; Instructional Programs; Latino ELL Students; Motivation; Other ELL Students (Middle Eastern, African, European, etc.);

Target Population: This article targets the general population, especially those Latino and minority groups in high school or first year in college.

Research Questions the Report Poses: This article raises the question of students' academic preparation to transition from high school to postsecondary education.

Findings:

  • Poor academic performance during high school due to poor academic preparation for college can predetermine the failure of students during college.
  • Current research shows that to make a different in academic preparation, school administrations and teachers have to create a rigorous academic program that needs to be continuous and based on rich coursework.
  • Organizations like Achieve, ACT, and the Education Policy Improvement Center are providing feedbacks for students to better their transition from high school to college.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Policymakers should begin to address the importance of academic preparation for students, especially in high school, entering college.
  • The federal government should be responsible of distributing and communicating the general public the steps to take to gain greater academic preparation and skills in schools.
  • Policymakers should propose and manage the strategies implemented to guarantee the success of the programs.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Center for American Progress 1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20005

Chait, Robin and Andrea Venezia. (2009). Improving Academic Preparation for College: What We Know and How State and Federal Policy Can Help. Washington, D.C.: Center for American Progress.

Improving Literacy Outcomes for English Language Learners in High School: Considerations for States and Districts in Developing a Coherent Policy Framework

Author: National High School Center, Nanette Koelsch

Summary: This overview from the National High School Center examines the roles of states and school districts in supporting English Language Learners. Among the key findings: ELL students who access accelerated and enriching academics, rather than remediation, succeed at higher levels. In addition, Latino ELL students are overrepresented in special education. In order to build the capacity of teachers to appropriately identify which ELL students would benefit from special education services and which would benefit from more inclusive strategies, states must be explicit about what is expected of professional development and teacher preparedness.

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Tags: Comprehension; Instructional Programs; Intervention; Language Proficiency; Latino ELL Students; Placement; Writing;

Target Population: Middle, High School, Post-Secondary

Research Questions the Report Poses: What issues should states consider to improve schooling for English language learners?

Findings:

  • ELLs need high quality instruction focused on advanced literacy skills and not just on language acquisition; and
  • Immersion-only programs lead to increased special education placements
  • Latino ELLs are overrepresented in special education and lower tracked classrooms;

Policy Recommendations:

  • States and districts need to redesign literacy work for ELLs in high schools to change from remediation to academic enrichment; and
  • States and districts need to ensure that ELLs participate in rigorous, college preparation courses and receive support so that they can succeed in these courses

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
n/a

Koelsch, N. (2006). Improving literacy outcomes for English language learners in high school: Considerations for states and districts in developing a coherent policy Framework. National High School Center .

Latino Males: Improving College Access and Degree Completion — A New National Imperative

Summary: Although the number of Latino students enrolled in two- and four-year colleges across the U.S. has increased in recent years, Latino male enrollment rates, which is eclipsed by that of Latina students, are still the lowest of any all racial/ethnic groups. This study proposes a national effort to increase the likelihood of high school and college success for Latinos, and investigated probable causes of the discrepancy between academic performance and engagement between Latino male students as compared to Latinas and other subgroups.

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Target Population: High School, Post Secondary

Research Questions the Report Poses: What factors contribute to lower rates of college achievement among Latino males in the U.S.?

Findings:

  • Past studies reveal that, on average, Latino high school students are less likely than their peers to graduate from high school or college, and more likely to forgo college entirely.
  • Similarly, the number of Latinas who earned a bachelor's degree or higher increased in recent years (from roughly 8 to 15%), compared to a minor rise for Latino males (about 10 to 13%).
  • This disparity in enrollment begins as early as preschool. In 2009, nearly 45% of Latinas under age five attended school either part- or full-time, compared to just under 40% of same-age Latino males.
  • In qualitative case studies in Texas and Florida, researchers interviewed K-12 and post-secondary administrators and Latino college students to examine the reasons Latino males may not continue on to college. Results indicated that these students were: a) less likely to seek academic support due to cultural and societal norms that may discourage Latino men from doing so, b) conflicted about attending college because of the potential need to contribute to family income and a notion of familismo, or strong family loyalty, and c) not sufficiently recruited or supported by school and community programs.

Policy Recommendations:

The researchers advocate the following policy changes:

  • Developing mandatory academic advising for Latino students identified as at risk of school failure, and provide adequate information about college funding options.
  • Hiring Latino faculty and staff who can act as mentors, and fostering peer-to-peer mentoring betwen first generation and academically engaged Latino students.
  • Enhancing accuracy and efficiency of data collection methods for this population that incorporates both quantitative (statistical) and qualitative (interviews, focus groups) measures, paying particular attention to transitional points in K-12 and college education.
  • Expanding community outreach efforts to reach out to college-age Latino males and improve their likelihood of college and career success.

Sáenz, V.B. & Ponjuán, L. (2012). Latino males: Improving college access and degree completion — a new national imperative. San Antonio, Texas: AAHHE, ETS & UTSA.

Listening to Latinas: Barriers for High School Graduation

Author: National Women's Law Center & Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Summary: Latinas are the most rapidly growing population of school-age youth, yet are at a heightened risk for high school dropout. This report investigates factors preventing on-track high school completion for these students. With the assistance of educators and administrators across the country, researchers surveyed 335 Latina high school students. They conducted follow-up interviews, focus groups, and surveys of school and access program staff members who worked with this population. The result — an informed depiction of the reasons Latina students may struggle — provides the basis for recommended educational policy changes.

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Tags: American Indian ELL Students; Asian ELL Students; Intervention; Latino ELL Students; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA;

Target Population: High School

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • What barriers to graduation are Latina high school students facing?
  • What resources and support services are needed to promote the success of these students in and beyond high school?

Findings:

  • There was a visible discrepancy between the expressed college and career goals of Latina high school students and their projected outcomes. While 98% reported a desire to graduate from high school, only an average of 59% earn a standard diploma in four years.
  • Tragically, when asked about the highest level of education they realistically expected to achieve, one-third of Latina students reported a lower level than they had expressed as a goal.
  • Factors preventing on-time graduation are: poverty, immigration status, language barriers, lack of parental involvement, and teen pregnancy, and other care-taking obligations, all of which place a social, academic, or financial burden on Latina students.
  • Pregnancy and parenting responsibilities had the greatest impact on school performance. At two times the national average, Latinas have the highest rate of teen pregnancy.
  • Additional challenges include discrimination against Latinas based on gender and ethnic stereotypes. Societal expectations of these students are often internalized, causing them to doubt their likelihood of future success, and potentially become less engaged or motivated in school.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Invest in early child care initiatives and education, and promote outreach to Latino families to increase public access and awareness. Other supports, including health care, housing, nutritional assistance, and tax benefits, should also be made available.
  • Foster mentoring, college access, and dropout prevention programs for Latinas (and other minorities) to provide them with visible role models and goal-setting guidance.
  • Ensure that Latina students are college ready and aware of how to apply for all possible funding opportunities.
  • Strongly enforce anti-discrimination policies in schools, promote dual-language programs for ELLs, multicultural classrooms, and high quality after-school and summer enrichment programs.
  • Develop Latino parental involvement initiatives, improve and implement comprehensive sex education programs, and support current students who are pregnant or have children.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
MALDEF: http://maldef.org/contact/

National Women's Law Center & Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (2009). Listening to Latinas: Barriers to high school graduation. Washington, DC: National Women's Law Center & the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Making Social Studies Meaningful for ELL Students: Content and Pedagogy in Mainstream Secondary School Classrooms

Author: Michelle Yvonne Szpara, Iftikhar Ahmad

Summary: In this report, Szpara and Ahmad describe a study that partnered university faculty with high school social studies teachers in an effort to make social studies content accessible to English language learners. The social studies curriculum poses particular challenges for ELLs because it assumes both culture-specific background knowledge and proficiency in English literacy skills. Szpara and Ahmad suggest a three-tiered approach that includes creating a socially supportive classroom, providing explicit instruction in strategies that support comprehension, and reducing cognitive load without reducing content. For each of these tiers, the authors list specific, concrete strategies that the university-school partnership identified as best practices for the social studies classroom.

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Tags: Comprehension; Content Areas: Social Studies;

Target Population: Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: What are the challenges and successes in developing an effective instructional environment for teaching secondary-level social studies curriculum to ELLs?

Findings:

  • Social studies instruction for ELLs presents a unique challenge —not only are the ELL students learning a new language and culture while in the classroom, they must learn a different interpretation of historical events, develop a different conception of government, and learn a different philosophy of citizenship.
  • The ELL population encounters a number of critical barriers which may impede their citizenship education: lack of prior exposure to elementary school social studies curriculum, a rudimentary understanding of the cultural context, and more importantly, their lack of English literacy skills which are vital for comprehending social studies material, acculturation, and socialization in the dominant culture.
  • Best practices for ESL students can also benefit all students in the mainstream classroom, including those who may have lower reading abilities, learning disabilities, attention-deficit disorders, or other challenges which may affect their comprehension and/or production capabilities in the classroom.

Szpara, M.Y., Ahmad I. (2006). Making Social Studies Meaningful for ELL Students: Content and Pedagogy in Mainstream Secondary School Classrooms. Essays in Education, 16. Retrieved from http://www.usca.edu/essays/vol162006/ahmad.pdf

Measures of Change: The Demography and Literacy of Adolescent English Learners

Author: Jeanne Batalova, Michael Fix, and Julie Murray / Migration Policy Institute

Summary: This report from the Migration Policy Institute examines the increasing population of ELLs. It does this by examining the ELL population and developing a profile of ELL students, examining literacy achievement on both national and state math and reading assessments, and examining state identification, testing, and accommodation policies in the following states: California, Illinois, Colorado, and North Carolina.

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Tags: Language Proficiency; Latino ELL Students; Motivation; Reading; Transfer of Literacy Skills; Vocabulary; Writing;

Target Population: Elementary, Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • Who are immigrant students and students who do not speak English well?
  • Where are they from, and what is their family background (social, economic, linguistic, etc.)?
  • How well do they do in school?
  • Do their literacy levels prepare them to take part in higher education and a skilled workforce?"

Findings:

  • ELL populations are growing faster than general student populations
  • The growth of ELL populations in different states varies widely
  • Students in California are more likely to be "linguistically isolated" than students across the country or in the other three states studied
  • 57% of ELLs across the country were born in the United States
  • 70% of ELLs in grades 6-12 speak Spanish
  • NAEP data examined for 8th grade ELLs shows that only 4% and 6% of ELLs scored proficient in reading and math, respectively
  • ELLs performed radically different on state math and reading assessments from state to state
  • There is a wide achievement gap between ELL and non-ELL students on the 8th grade NAEP as well as state standardized tests
  • Former ELL students and non-ELL students scored roughly the same on NAEP and state assessments

Policy Recommendations:

  • "Reexamine whether Census data accurately capture the [ELL] population"
  • "Examine how varying state exclusion rates for ELL students affect NAEP results"
  • "Explore the literacy trajectories of former [ELL] students"
  • "Document how states vary in their testing and monitoring practices for ELL students who parents opt out of language instruction services"
  • "Leverage the research opportunities that multi-state English proficiency tests offer for analyzing ELL outcomes"

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
http://www.migrationpolicy.org/pubs/index.php

Batalova, J., Fix, M., and Murray, J. (2007). Measures of Change: The Demography and Literacy of Adolescent English Learners. Migration Policy Institute, Carnegie Corporation of New York: New York, NY.

Meeting the Literacy Development Needs of Adolescent English Language Learners Through Content Area Learning (Part 1): Focus on Motivation and Engagement

Author: Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory (LAB), The Education Alliance at Brown University, Julie Meltzer and Edmund Hamann

Summary: This article reviews research concerning literacy engagement and motivation of adolescent ELL students as well as native speakers in content-area classrooms. Instructional principals such as the "scaffolding" method and activation of students' prior knowledge are explored, as well as importance of content relevance and choice in student-centered learning. Additionally, the article provides guidelines for research-based professional development that would adequately prepare content area teachers to support the literacy development of all secondary students.

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Tags: Content Areas: Math; Content Areas: Science; Content Areas: Social Studies; Motivation; Placement; Reading; Struggling Readers; Transfer of Literacy Skills; Vocabulary; Writing;

Target Population: Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • What can be done to foster academic literacy, motivation, and classroom engagement among adolescent ELLs?
  • How can secondary teachers apply these strategies to better support all students?

Findings:

  • In a large body of research, literacy motivation is seen as the interaction of many factors, including self-efficacy, situational interest, attitudes toward reading, self-regulation, and how a student identifies as a reader.
  • Learning motivation theory proposes two goal orientations: one related to mastery, and one to performance. The first is aimed at improving ability, comprehension, and tackling challenges. The second focuses instead on the evaluation of one's ability by an outside observer (i.e. a teacher). As the mastery orientation involves deeper internal motivation, it is more likely to promote long-term learning.
  • If classroom tasks are too advanced or remedial for students, they will result in disengagement and a poor learning environment. This is particularly true for ELLs.

Policy Recommendations:

Professional development courses should focus on the three key teaching practices (identified in this article) that foster students' motivation to read, write, and participate with classroom literacy activities. These principles are:

  • Providing background information for the reading and forming meaningful connections between the content and students' lives
  • Acknowledging students' opinions and giving them appropriate, varied choices in academic assignments
  • Fostering dialogue among students and text inquiry to build literacy skills

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
The Education Alliance at Brown
222 Richmond Street, Suite 300
Providence, RI 02903-4226
Phone: 800.521.9550
Fax: 401.421.7650
E-mail: info@alliance.brown.edu

Meltzer, J. & Hamann, E. (2004). Meeting the literacy development needs of adolescent English language learners. Part one: Focus on motivation and engagement. Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory.

Meeting the Literacy Development Needs of Adolescent English Language Learners Through Content Area Learning (Part 2): Focus on Classroom Teaching and Learning Strategies

Author: Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory (LAB), The Education Alliance at Brown University, Julie Meltzer and Edmund Hamann

Summary: Part Two of this report highlights areas of overlap between the research on adolescents' content-area literacy development and literature addressing the academic performance and instruction of ELLs. This process allowed the authors to identify instructional strategies that are beneficial for all students, which they recommend incorporating in future professional development for teachers.

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Tags: Content Areas: Math; Content Areas: Science; Content Areas: Social Studies; Differentiated Instruction; Intervention; Motivation; Placement; Reading; Struggling Readers; Transfer of Literacy Skills; Vocabulary; Writing;

Target Population: Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: How can teachers and school administrators simultaneously foster all secondary students' academic literacy across content areas and respond to the particular needs of ELLs?

Findings:

  • About six million middle and high school students (more than a quarter of the U.S. student population) are reading below grade level, classified as at-risk or struggling.
  • ELLs are frequently placed in mainstream classrooms with teachers with little to no training. This, posit the authors, is due to the lack of trained ESL instructors, the rapidly growing ELL population, and caps on the number of years students can spend in ELL or bilingual programs.
  • Research indicates that a minimum of four years of English instruction is crucial for the academic success of ELLs. Moreover, native language instruction can have added benefits.
  • Student achievement can be boosted with the use of several key pedagogical practices, outlined in the section below.

Policy Recommendations:

Teacher development and training should target the best practices of both adolescent literacy and ELL research. These include:

  • Teacher modeling and explicit strategy instruction to demonstrate the skills required for a task, and the use of follow-up assessments to measure student comprehension and areas for future growth.
  • Classroom emphasis on building reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and listening skills to provide more complex and challenging learner-centered classrooms.
  • Instruction on cognitive and metacognitive strategies during literacy tasks to strengthen students' ability to evaluate their own work and analyze content.
  • Subject-specific vocabulary instruction and exposure to texts with high level vocabulary.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
The Education Alliance at Brown
222 Richmond Street, Suite 300
Providence, RI 02903-4226
Phone: 800.521.9550
Fax: 401.421.7650
E-mail: info@alliance.brown.edu

Meltzer, J. & Hamann, E. (2004). Meeting the literacy development needs of adolescent English language learners. Part two: Focus on classroom teaching and learning strategies. Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory .

Middle-to-High School Transition for English Language Learners: Promising School-Based Practices

Author: Lara, J., & Harford, S.; Smaller Learning Communities Program

Summary: This paper examines the nexus among three current areas of concern for secondary educators and policymakers: restructuring high schools into small learning communities (SLCs); supporting the transition of students into the ninth grade; and instructing English language learners (ELLs). Research in these three separate areas has become increasingly abundant and relevant as national educational policy focus has shifted toward high school improvement. ELLs are enrolled in large numbers in urban schools, which have lately been the recipients of high school reform initiatives. Yet, despite the abundant presence of ELLs in these schools, little information is available on how the distinctive linguistic, academic, and social needs of ELLs have been considered in high school reform policies and programmatic initiatives.

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Tags: Intervention; Language Proficiency; Motivation; Placement; Struggling Readers;

Target Population: Middle, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • What is the best middle to high school transitions for ELLs?
  • What happens to the ELL moving from eighth to ninth grade in a SLC?
  • How are his or her unique educational needs considered?
  • Is the instructional program designed to seamlessly integrate English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) instruction with the SLC or ninth?grade transitional programs?
  • Is the student required to choose between accessing linguistically appropriate instruction and accessing the benefits of a career or technical academy?
  • Does the student's de facto status as an ELL preclude him or her from taking part in programs and courses within the SLC schools?

Findings:

  • In order to ensure that ELL students catch up with their peers, the school must place emphasis on intense ELD instruction.
  • Teachers should use specialized instructional methodologies to build their abilities to teach content to ELL students.
  • Beneficial to ELL transitions are the flexible delivery and scheduling of academic and non-academic supports.
  • It does not appear that any one school is implementing a coherent service delivery plan. Instead, there are examples of isolated implementation of best practices in a given area, but not across the school or for all ELL students

Lara, J., & Harford, S. (n.d.). Middle-to-High School Transition for English Language Learners: Promising School-Based Practices. Smaller Learning Communities Program. Retrieved January 13, 2011 from: http://www.edweek.org/media/final-middletohighschool.pdf

Perceptions of College Financial Aid Among California Latino Youth

Author: The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute / Maria Estela Zarate and Harry P. Pachon

Summary: Despite surveys and research showing that Hispanic parents and students alike both consider college to be both important and valuable, many Hispanic students do not pursue higher education. This report makes the assertion that if Hispanic students and their parents were better informed about the concepts involved with and procedure surrounding financial aid that more Hispanic students would pursue college.

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Tags: Latino ELL Students; Motivation; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA; Rights, Parents; Rights, Students;

Target Population: Post-Secondary

Research Questions the Report Poses: Are Hispanic students well-informed about their financial aid options for higher education? How does knowledge about financial aid affect Hispanic students' choices to pursue higher education?

Findings:

  • 98% of respondents in the survey said that they felt it was important to have a college education
  • 38% of respondents did not feel the benefits of college outweigh the costs
  • Not being able to work and incurring debt were the opportunity costs associated with going to college
  • The opportunity costs associated with going to college were not being able to work and incurring debt
  • More than 50% of the respondents incorrectly thought students have to be U.S. citizens to apply for college financial aid
  • Few respondents could accurately estimate the cost of attending either the University of California or California State University
  • Overall, respondents demonstrated a lack of familiarity with government grants for education

Policy Recommendations:

  • Students need to be better informed about the "less tangible, but real, social status differences that exist between the college-educated and the non-college educated" so that they feel that the opportunity costs of attending college are worth paying
  • Because of misperceptions about how much college actually costs, Latino students may continue to be underrepresented on college campuses. To this end, perceptions must be corrected by presenting students with information about the realistic costs of attending college.
  • Latino students need to be better informed about Cal Grants and Pell Grants, as well as other grant and loan opportunities available through state and federal government.
  • Students and their parents both need to be educated about the system of college finances, including scholarships, loans, grants, and government guaranteed loans.
  • Student perceptions about the significance of legal residency status vs. U.S. citizenship status need to be corrected, especially given the citizenship status of many students' parents

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
n/a

Zarate, E.Z., and Pachon, H.P. (2006). Perceptions of College Financial Aid Among California Latino Youth. Tomas Rivera Policy Institute: Los Angeles, CA.

Promoting Academic Literacy Among Secondary English Language Learners: A Synthesis of Research and Practice

Author: UC Davis School of Education

Summary: Provides an overview of issues related to teaching English language learners (ELL), and recommendations for California policy including: challenges secondary ELL students face; needs and limitations of teachers and schools in CA; and best practices cited by researchers and practitioners. The report largely summarizes three days of panel presentations and discussions by ELL experts convened in 2005.

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Tags: Differentiated Instruction; Language Proficiency; Placement;

Target Population: middle and high school

Research Questions the Report Poses: What policy steps should occur in California to improve the education of secondary English Language Learners?

Findings:
A number of themes emerged from the panel discussants including:

  • the need for identifying ELL students better; inadequate existing programs for ELL secondary students;
  • the need for more teachers and administrators who are knowledgeable about the needs of secondary ELL students; and
  • the importance of advocacy and staying on-message to improve ELL education.

Policy Recommendations:
The report adopts five policy steps that should occur including:

  • Convene a panel of experts;
  • Promote pilot programs;
  • Develop an effective ELL assessment system;
  • Establish a committee in the CA legislature to recruit and retain highly skilled ELL teachers and administrators; and
  • Organize a summit to bring attention and focus to the need for improved ELL secondary education.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
NA

Maxwell-Jolly, J., Gandara, P. & Benavidez L. M. (2005). Promoting academic literacy among secondary English language learners: A synthesis of research and practice. Davis, CA: UC Davis School of Education.

Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California's Long Term English Learners.

Author: L. Olsen. Californians Together.

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Tags: Fluency; Intervention; Language Proficiency; Placement; Struggling Readers; Transfer of Literacy Skills;

Target Population: Secondary, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses: Which of the English learners are left behind? What steps can be taken to prevent this?

Findings:

  • The majority (59%) of secondary school English Learners are "Long Term English Learners" (in United States schools for more than six years without reaching sufficient English proficiency to be reclassified). In one out of three districts, more than 75% of their English Learners are Long Term.
  • California school districts do not have a shared definition of "Long Term English Learners." Most districts lack any definition or means of identifying or monitoring the progress and achievement of this population. Only one in four districts has a formal definition or designation for identifying, counting, serving or monitoring services for these students - and their definitions vary in the number of years considered "normative" for how soon English Learners should have reached proficiency (range from five to ten years).
  • English Learners become "Long Term" English Learners in the course of their schooling experience. Several factors seem to contribute to becoming a Long Term English Learner: receiving no language development program at all; being given elementary school curricula and materials that weren't designed to meet English Learner needs; enrollment in weak language development program models and poorly implemented English Learner programs; histories of inconsistent programs; provision of narrowed curricula and only partial access to the full curriculum; social segregation and linguistic isolation; and, cycles of transnational moves.
  • By the time Long Term English Learners arrive in secondary schools, there is a set of characteristics that describe their overall profile. These students struggle academically. They have distinct language issues, including: high functioning social language, very weak academic language, and significant deficits in reading and writing skills. The majority of Long Term English Learners are "stuck" at Intermediate levels of English proficiency or below, although others reach higher levels of English proficiency without attaining the academic language to be reclassified. Long Term English Learners have significant gaps in academic background knowledge. In addition, many have developed habits of non-engagement, learned passivity and invisibility in school. The majority of Long Term English Learners wants to go to college, and are unaware that their academic skills, record and courses are not preparing them to reach that goal. Neither students, their parents nor their community realizes that they are in academic jeopardy.

Olsen, L. (2010). Reparable Harm: Fulfilling the Unkept Promise of Educational Opportunity for California's Long Term English Learners. Californians Together. Retrieved January 6, 2011 from: http://www.californianstogether.org/

So Many Schools, So Few Options: How Mayor Bloomberg's Small High School Reforms Deny Full Access to English Language Learners

Author: The New York Immigration Coalition and Advocates for Children of New York

Summary: Although ELLs make up about 11.4% of the New York City high school population, in 2005-2006, 93 of 183 schools examined in this report had less than 5% of ELLs in their student body. This means that more than half of the high schools in the city had a very small ELL population. A policy that the NYC Department of Education has in place is to "allow small schools to exclude ELLs in [their] first two years of operation" (p. 7). Failure to follow required accommodation laws is also keeping ELLs out of many NYC high schools. In the borough of Queens, which has the most ELL students, only 7% of new high schools were built. Overall, the new plan toward having smaller schools in New York City is keeping ELLs from getting equal access to quality instruction because resources for ELL instruction are not prevalent.

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Tags: Intervention; Rights, Students;

Target Population: High school

Research Questions the Report Poses: To what extent, if any, have ELLs actually been included in New York City's small high schools reform initiative?

Findings:

  • As a result of the new schools program, ELL students are largely sequestered to a few schools with high percentages of ELLs while many other schools offer very little, if any, instruction or resources for ELLs.
  • Because new schools are not being built in areas where ELLs are highly concentrated, ELLs are being kept from new schools.
  • Most schools classified as small by this report (about 500 students) fail to provide adequate resources for ELL instruction.
  • Because small schools are inadequately prepared to instruct ELLs, these students are forced to go to large, failing schools, which are the type of schools that the new schools plan was supposed to cut down on.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Increase ELLs' access to small schools by building more small schools in areas where ELLs most commonly reside.
  • Improve the high school admissions process so that ELLs are not excluded or kept out of small schools because of their ELL status.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
Advocates for Children of New York
151 West 30th Street — 5th Floor
New York, NY 10001
E-Mail: info@advocatesforchildren.org
Phone: (212)-947-9779
Fax: (212)-947-9790

The New York Immigration Coalition and Advocates for Children of New York. (2006, November). So Many Schools, So Few Options: How Mayor Bloomberg's Small High School Reforms Deny Full Access to English Language Learners. New York, NY: The New York Immigration Coalition and Advocates for Children of New York.

Speaking Out: Latino Youth on Discrimination in the United States

Author: P. Foxen; National Council of La Raza

Summary: This report discusses and examines themes the ways in which Latino adolescents who are grappling with their identity and place in society perceive and engage with formative social settings/institutions, such as school, work, law enforcement, and the juvenile justice system. The report analyzes these perceptions through data received from focus groups located in 4 different cities across the country (Langley Park, MD; Nashville, TN; Providence, RI; and Los Angeles, CA) that include both first-generation and second-generation youth.

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Tags: Intervention; Latino ELL Students; Motivation; Rights, Students;

Target Population: Middle, High School, Post-Secondary (all adolescents)

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • How do Latino adolescents navigate the different social settings and institutions that they encounter?
  • Within the current environment, are school and work viewed by Latino youth as a great "equalizer" and part of an opportunity structure that can give them the tools and security to succeed and progress? Or do Latino youth perceive these settings as further reinforcing the broader inequalities that they already face?
  • Do young Latinos feel that they are treated differently within such settings, and if so, in which specific ways do they experience and interpret these differences?
  • Broadly speaking, how do young Latinos' interactions within all of these systems affect their sense of well-being, identity, and belonging in U.S. society?

Findings:

  • Latino youth tend to have an optimistic outlook on the role of education and a strong desire to achieve successful careers. These attitudes are often associated with the hopes and expectations of their immigrant parents and with their own desire to contribute to their community and nation.
  • Despite these optimistic attitudes, the teenagers expressed a pervasive sense of being negatively stereotyped by institutional actors as varied as teachers, employers, and police officers. They described how assumptions about Hispanic youth and Latinos in general are manifested within the different social settings discussed.
  • Latino youth report significant ethnic stereotyping at school by teachers, administrators, and peers. Such stereotyping, they feel, often leads Hispanic students to be overlooked, excluded, or negatively tracked, and results in unequal educational opportunities.
  • The youth often perceive the workplace as a site of unfair practices based on racial and ethnic assumptions on the part of employers. Many of these youth's perceptions of discrimination in the workforce were directly related to the experiences of their parents and other community members.
  • Across all focus groups, the youth emphatically described feeling unfairly and habitually profiled by law enforcement as a result of negative assumptions regarding Hispanic youth, gangs, and immigrants. Such regular contact with the police, which takes place in a variety of spaces, compounds feelings of vulnerability and distrust in their communities.
  • One of the most consistent findings across the focus groups was the teenagers' pervasive sense of being racialized on a regular basis, and in practically all realms of experience.

Foxen, P. (2010, October, 21)."Speaking Out: Latino Youth on Discrimination in the United States" National Council of La Raza. Retrieved January 3, 2011, from: http://www.nclr.org/index.php/publications/speaking_out_latino_youth_on_discrimination_in_the_united_states/

Teen Pregnancy & High School Dropout: What Communities Can Do To Address These Issues

Author: Shuger, L. (2012). Teen Pregnancy and High School Dropout: What Communities are Doing to Address These Issues. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036

Summary: Nearly one-third of teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite early pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason. Only 40 percent of teen moms finish high school, and less than two percent of teen mothers (those who have a baby before age 18) finish college by age 30. The primary focus of this report is to highlight innovative ways school systems (particularly persistently low-achieving school districts with high teen birth rates), public agencies, and community-based organizations that oversee teen pregnancy prevention programs are working together with the common goal of helping students avoid early pregnancy and parenthood and complete their high school education.

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Target Population: High School Students, High School Administrators, and Communities.

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • How are schools and communities addressing the connections between teen pregnancy and dropping out of high school?
  • What strategies have proven to be effective in addressing this link?

Findings:

  • Parenthood is a leading cause of school dropout among teen girls. Thirty percent of all teen girls who have dropped out of high school cite pregnancy or parenthood as a key reason, and the rate is higher for minority students: 36 percent of Hispanic girls and 38 percent of African American girls cite pregnancy or parenthood as a reason they dropped out.
  • One in three (34%) young women who had been a teen mother earned neither a diploma nor a GED, compared with only six percent of young women who had not been a teen mom.
  • Communities with effective prevention programs focused on strategies such as improved sex education (often with parental input); leadership and growth opportunities for young women; coordinated efforts between attendance offices, educators, and administrators to track student academic progress and ensure that sex education is included in the curriculum; and identifying specialists who can support schools, students, and families in efforts to prevent teen pregnancy.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Ask parents for parental support for sex education in schools.
  • Educate community leaders and parents about the connections between teen pregnancy and dropping otu of high school.
  • Increase and improve professional development for teachers who will be delivering sex education, perhaps through partnering with local health or community organizations.

  • Highlight the connection between teen pregnancy and drop-out rates for school administrators as a way to gain more traction and attention for teen pregnancy prevention.
  • Share best practices and strategies that are working with other communities or states.

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036

Shuger, L. (2012). Teen Pregnancy and High School Dropout: What Communities are Doing to Address These Issues. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and America's Promise Alliance.

The Latino Education Crisis: Rescuing the American Dream

Author: WestEd; Patricia Gándara

Summary: Achievement gaps between Latinos and most other students are enormous and getting worse, in spite of progress for other minority groups. Such effects will be devastating given rising job market demands and increasing representation of Latinos in the workforce. Public policy and academic achievement relates to six key areas that need to be addressed: early and continuing cognitive enrichment, housing policies that promote integration and residential stability, integrated social services at school sites, recruiting and preparing extraordinary teachers, exploiting Latino linguistic advantage, and college preparation and support programs.

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Tags: Bilingual Instruction; Bilingualism / Biliteracy; Latino ELL Students; Parent Involvement and Outreach / PTA;

Target Population: Preschool, Elementary, Middle, High School, Post-Secondary

Findings:

  • In 2008, Latinos were about half as likely as African Americans and a third as likely as White students to obtain a college degree.
  • “According to the U.S. Census, almost 29 percent of Latino children lived below the poverty line nationally in 2007 (compared to 15 percent of White children), and the effects of poverty on intellectual and academic achievement can be pernicious.”
  • Latina mothers have the lowest education of all ethnic groups.
  • Low-income Latino parents are often overlooked by schools often related to low levels of education or limited English.
  • Learning to read and build vocabulary in Spanish can be an key stepping stone to learning English.
  • A randomized study of preschool programs (English bilingual versus two-way immersion) Spanish-speaking students in the dual-language program showed significant growth in Spanish vocabulary with similar learning gains.
  • Latino children of poverty often have fewer “opportunities to learn,” which can impede learning.
  • Latino children, especially those learning English, who enter school underprepared need significant additional instructional time.
  • In the West, 60% of Latinos in large cities attend schools with 90-100% non-white peers. English language learners face similar hyper-segregation that limits social capital.
  • “Housing is the fulcrum of opportunity.” Segregated housing perpetuates intergenerational inequality.
  • Latino students are more likely than others to move frequently, which can have a negative impact on academic achievement.
  • Many Latino students are out of school a significant time due to preventable illness as a result of lack of health care access.
  • Integrated physical and mental health, when implemented well, can impact children’s health, achievement, and mobility.
  • California’s Healthy Start centers showed extensive effects but has been defunded.
  • Well-prepared teachers for Latino students are hard to attract and retain.
  • American schools often treat speaking a language other than English as an impediment, unlike other developed nations. This limits the human resource and cognitive advantage of being literate in another language.
  • Students in two-way immersion classes have positive intercultural relations.
  • College access and preparation programs, which often begin too late or include too few students, are severely limited in effect.
  • Most Latino students attend two-year colleges, which are less likely to provide financial aid. Lack of funding is a key deterrent for Latinos going to college.
  • RAND study indicated that doubling college completion rate of Latinos would cost $6.5 billion but benefit society by $13 billion.

Policy Recommendations:

  • Early and continuing cognitive enrichment
    • Early intervention that extends parents’ “Funds of knowledge”
    • Preschool that builds incorporates home language
    • Use of bilingual instruction with good models of both languages
    • Subsidized preschool programs
  • Housing Policies
    • “Latino students must be assigned to schools that will give them the chance to break the vicious cycle of poor schooling and limited opportunity.”
    • Changing school boundaries to prevent socioeconomic and linguistic isolation
    • Desegregated housing (mayoral collaboration with school boards)
    • Policies to help low-income families establish stable housing in a community
    • School desegregation and residential stabilization
  • Integrated Social Services
    • Concerted effort to establish more school-based health clinics for low-income students/families
    • Universal health care accessed at school sites or local communities
  • Recruiting and Preparing Extraordinary Teachers
    • Recruit teachers from students’ communities
    • Improving work conditions (smaller classes, supportive leadership, planning time, and safe campuses)
    • Targeted recruitment and tuition support for teachers in bilingual programs.
  • Exploiting the Latino Linguistic Advantage
    • Languages should be seen as resources.
  • College Preparation and Support Programs
    • Bridge K-12 schools with institutes of higher education.
    • Recruit Latino students
    • Create supports for peer study and social groups
    • Place the best teachers in freshman classes
    • Extend program components beyond the freshman year
    • Acknowledge cumulative skill development
    • Provide meaningful financial aid
    • Cost-free four-year education for qualified individuals (through alignment of federal and state aid)
    • Support for the passage of the Dream Act that would provide undocumented students with no criminal record conditional legal status and access to student aid
    • Supports for dual language programs
    • Dropout prevention and college access programs

Gándara, P. (2010). The Latino Education Crisis: Rescuing the American Dream. WestEd. Retrieved from: http://www.wested.org/online_pubs/pp-10-02.pdf

The Relationship Between English Proficiency and Content Knowledge for English Language Learner Students in Grades 10 and 11 in Utah

Author: X. Barrat, Min Huang; Regional Educational Laboratory at WestEd; National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance

Summary: This study examines the relationship between performance on Utah's English proficiency assessment and English language arts and mathematics content assessments by English language learner students and compares the performance of English language learner and non–English language learner students on the content assessments.

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Tags: Language Proficiency;

Target Population: High School

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • What is the distribution of performance of ELLs in grades 10 and 11 on the Utah Academic Language Proficiency Assessment, compared with their performance on the English language arts and mathematics content assessments of the Utah Performance Assessment System for Students?
  • How did their performance compare in academic performance with native English speakers?

Findings:

  • The higher students scored on the English proficiency, the higher they scored on both math and language arts exams.
  • English language learner students scored lower than non-English learners in both language arts and math.

Policy Recommendations:
Use the study's findings in discussion of rules on when students should be moved out of English language learner status and in creation of assessment programs and curriculum for English language learners.

Crane, E.W., Barrat V. X., and Huang, M. (2011). The relationship between English proficiency and content knowledge for English language learner students in grades 10 and 11 in Utah. (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2001-No. 110). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory West.

The Rising Price of Inequality: How Inadequate Grant Aid Limits College Access and Persistence

Author: Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.

Summary: The Advisory Committee on Student Finance is required to report and monitor the condition of college access for low and moderate income families to Congress. A part of this report is the adequacy of grant aids for those students and their effectiveness.

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Tags: Intervention; Rights, Students;

Target Population: Post-secondary

Research Questions the Report Poses: How do grant aid limit college assess and persistence among low-income and moderate income graduates?

Findings:

  • Large-scale mismatches exist and are growing between the aspirations and qualifications of these high school graduates and where they are able financially to enroll in college.
  • Triggered by increasing family financial concerns about college expenses and financial aid, these mismatches are shifting initial enrollment of qualified students away from 4-year colleges.
  • Shifts in initial enrollment are consequential because where qualified high school graduates are able to start college (access) largely determines their likelihood of success (persistence).
  • Exacerbating the negative impact of enrollment shifts, persistence rates today appear to be lower, especially for qualified high school graduates who are unable financially to start at a 4-year college.
  • Maintaining financial access to 4-year public colleges for qualified high school graduates is of paramount policy importance.
  • Between 1992 and 2004, initial enrollment rates of academically qualified low- and moderate-income high school graduates in 4-year colleges shifted downward: from 54 percent to 40 percent, and from 59 percent to 53 percent, respectively.
  • The cause appears to have been an increase in the importance of college expenses and financial aid to parents and students between 1992 and 2004 (Table 4, page 17). Differences in family financial concerns accounted for 45 percentage points difference in 4-year college enrollment for in 2004.
  • High school graduates from low-income families who started at a 4-year college earned a bachelor's degree over three times more often than their peers who started at a 2-year college, 62 percent vs. 20 percent. Their peers from moderate-income income families earned the degree nearly twice as often, 67 percent vs. 34 percent (table 7, page 26). Given current policies, shifts in enrollment from 4-year to 2-year colleges have implications for degree completion.
  • Persistence of low-income high school graduates five years after starting at a 4-year college has fallen from 78 percent to 75 percent; for those from moderate-income families, persistence has remained at 81 percent (figure 25, page 27). For those starting at a 2-year college, persistence has fallen significantly .

Policy Recommendations:

  • In addition, given steadily rising net prices and cumulative loan burdens, and the considerable impact of parent financial concerns in 10th grade on college enrollment behavior, a national experiment is required. Its purpose would be to determine the impact on family financial concerns of current features of the federal student loan programs - in particular, the income-contingency and forgiveness provisions. This study should determine how the programs might be improved to offset the negative effects of financial concerns on students taking the steps of testing, applying, and enrolling in a 4-year college (exhibit five, page 35).
  • Improving academic preparation alone might raise the rates to only 27 percent and 39 percent, respectively (table 13, page 37).
  • Improving access (enrollment) alone might raise the rates to only 33 percent and 42 percent, respectively (table 14, page 38).
  • Improving persistence alone might raise the rates to only 34 percent and 45 percent, respectively (table 15, page 39).
  • Conduct a National Loan Experiment.
  • Implement a Comprehensive Federal Strategy.

“The Rising Price of Inequality: How Inadequate Grant Aid Limits College Access and Persistence”. (2010). Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. Retrieved August 3, 2010 from: http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2010/2010015.pdf

Urgent but Overlooked: The Literacy Crisis Among Adolescent English Language Learners

Author: Alliance for Excellent Education

Summary: ELL students represent the fastest growing segment of the student population and yet with respect to reading and literacy rates, they are among the country's lowest performing students. This article looks at the crisis of low literacy rates among ELL students, what research is currently being done, the findings of that research, and key policy questions needing to be addressed by policymakers. The report also includes a brief look into the types of support needed in order to provide ELL students with effective literacy instruction.

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Tags: Reading;

Target Population: Pre-K, Elementary School, Middle School, High School

Research Questions the Report Poses:

  • How should adolescent ELLs' literacy skills be assessed?
  • What kinds of support and professional development will enable teachers to provide effective literacy instruction for ELLs?
  • What kinds of programs should be offered to meet ELLs' diverse needs?
  • What research is needed to improve the literacy instruction for adolescent ELLs?
  • What policy changes are required to meet these goals?

Findings:

  • ELLs comprise 10.5 percent of the nation's pre-K-12 school enrollment — double the nation's ELL population in 1990, yet as a group, they are the nation's "lowest-performing students."
  • In many ways, the literacy needs of adolescent ELLs' overlap with their non-ELL peers: they also benefit from explicit instruction in comprehension and vocabulary; their reading and writing skills reinforce each other; and ELLs' personal interests and "out-of-school literacy skills" can be used to engage students in the classroom.
  • Nevertheless, adolescent ELLs face some unique challenges regarding literacy. These include: limited proficiency in their native language; stronger oral skills; stronger social language (as opposed to academic language); transferring literacy skills from a different writing system (such as Chinese); lack of background knowledge; learning content and language simultaneously.
  • Techniques to help ELLs include drawing on students' knowledge and experience; providing key background knowledge before a lesson; previewing vocabulary; bilingual glossaries and dictionaries; native language support for content-area material; and allowing students to explain new content to each other.

Policy Recommendations:
N/A

To order a hard copy of the report, contact:
N/A

(February 2007). Urgent but overlooked: The literacy crisis among adolescent English Language Learners. Retrieved April 11, 2008, from Alliance For Excellent Education Web site: http://www.all4ed.org/files/UrgentOver.pdf