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Accountability in Language Minority Education


Oral proficiency in L2 is the basis for further learning. Therefore, once L2 oral proficiency is attained the bilingual advances ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Accountability in Language Minority Education

Accountability in Language Minority Education
  • Jill Kerper Mora, Ed.D.
  • San Diego State University

A Workshop for the 10th Annual Administrator
Conference Sonoma County Office of
Education April 4, 2001
Accountability FOR...
  • 25 of the total school population classified as
    English Language Learners or limited English
    proficient students
  • 38 of all students speak a language other than
    English in the home
  • 32 of all students are Spanish/English bilingual

The Federal Mandate
  • Lau v. Nichols 1974 Equal access to core
  • ELLs must achieve parity of participation
    within a reasonable amount of time
  • Valeria G. v. Wilson 1998 Sequential versus
    simultaneous language academic content teaching
  • Must recoup the deficits through intensive
    remedial programs
  • The majority expresses its policy preference

Normal Distribution Curve Two Populations of
34 NPR
LEPLimited English Proficient NESNative English
Accountability to Language Minority Students
  • Coherent program design based on sound
    theoretical and pedagogical models
  • Fidelity to research-based schooling practices
    demonstrated to be effective with language
    minority populations
  • School structures and program implementation
    policies that support effective teaching,
    collaboration and professional development for
  • On-going classroom assessments that inform

Accountability for Language Minority Students
  • Language assessment and program placement
  • Measuring students progress in literacy and the
    content areas
  • Assessments in students primary language
  • Setting realistic goals and expectations for
    program performance

Academic Needs of L2/Bilingual Learners
The Achievement Gap
Theoretical Models for Language Minority
Student Education
  • Affective, cognitive linguistic goals and
    objectives of each phase of instruction
  • Cultural, linguistic pedagogical assumptions
    and their research base
  • Purposes and uses of L1 L2 as the medium of
    instruction and for providing comprehensible
  • Use of effective second-language teaching
  • Grouping and placement procedures based on
    multiple forms of assessment

Normal Distribution Curve A Band of Scores
? Standard Deviation
SAT-9 SABE/2 Reading Scores
Language Assessment
  • Language assessment is a labor intensive and
    technical undertaking. Resources must be
    allocated for proper test administration and data
  • Language assessment instruments tend to
    overestimate language ability at the lower levels
    and underestimate language ability in the upper
    ranges of scores.
  • Teachers need professional development to
    properly interpret and utilize language
    assessment data

ELL Program Placement and Redesignation
  • Students individual academic progress must be
    tracked from grade to grade and disaggregated
    according to multiple criteria, both during and
    after ELL program enrollment
  • Redesignation criteria must reflect the multiple
    components of academic progress and achievement
    based on multiple measures, including specific
    aspects of English language development, reading
    achievement, and writing proficiency

Matching Programs to Students Developmental Needs
  • Newcomers programs
  • Bilingual dual language instruction
  • English as a second language (ESL) and English
    language development (ELD)
  • Literacy-focused instruction for orally
    proficient ELLs
  • Specially Designed Academic Instruction in
    English (SDAIE)

False Assumptions
  • A second language is acquired quickly and easily
    when the L2 learner is not allowed to depend on
    his or her first language
  • Oral proficiency in L2 is the basis for further
    learning. Therefore, once L2 oral proficiency is
    attained the bilingual advances academically like
    a monolingual learner.
  • Content knowledge is stored and retrieved in the
    language in which it was learned.

Faulty Program Models Based on False Assumptions
  • No effort to utilize and build on L2 learners L1
    language proficiency
  • Focus on short-term intensive L2 language
  • Decontextualized L2 language instruction
  • L2 language instruction devoid of literacy and
    content instructional components
  • Exaggerated expectations for rapid L2 acquisition
    and low expectations for mastery of literacy and
    content knowledge

High, but Realistic, Expectations
  • Progress in literacy achievement Near-native
    oral English proficiency and literacy learning
    will begin to converge for most students in fifth
    or sixth grade
  • Monitor program effectiveness over time There is
    no quick fix
  • Research on effective schooling practices for
    language minority students

School Environment Factors in Effective Language
Minority Schooling
  • A supportive school-wide environment in which
    students language and culture are valued
  • A customized learning environment with special
    attention to linguistic factors in students
    academic achievement
  • Some use of students native language and culture
    in instruction
  • High levels of parental involvement and
    parental/community support for the program

Instructional Factors in Effective Language
Minority Schooling
  • A balanced and clearly articulated curriculum
    that incorporates both basic and higher-order
    thinking skills
  • Explicit basic skills instruction with
    opportunities for practice and use of strategies
    to enhance understanding
  • Highly qualified teachers who receive ongoing
    staff development and support
  • Opportunities for student-directed activities
  • Systematic student assessment and program

Interpreting Standardized Test Scores for ELLs
  • Does the student score low on the test because...
  • s/he does not have sufficient English proficiency
    to understand the questions?
  • s/he cannot read English?
  • s/he does not know the academic content?
  • s/he knows the academic content but simply cannot
    express their knowledge in the English language
    used in the test?

Measuring Program Quality (Thomas Collier,
  • The typical program for ELLs shows gains of 1-3
    NCEs per year. This equates to closing the
    achievement gap in 8-12 academic years.
  • An effective program for ELLs gains from 4-6 NCEs
    per year. These programs can expect to close the
    achievement gap in 5-6 years.
  • An outstanding program for ELLs gains from 7-9
    NCEs per year. These programs close the
    achievement gap in 3-4 years.
  • Only 10 of all programs are deemed effective or

Expected Gains in English Language Proficiency
  • Oral proficiency increases rapidly when students
    are given comprehensible input and opportunities
    to interact with proficient English speakers.
  • Academic language proficiency required to express
    more abstract concepts develops over a longer
    period of time (5-7 years).
  • Students begin to close the achievement gap only
    after several years of effective language and
    literacy instruction focused on their particular
    developmental needs.

Supporting Effective Teaching
  • A coherent and well-articulated curriculum with
    administrative coordination
  • Teacher designed professional development with
    ample time for collaborative planning
  • Appropriate and abundant instructional materials
    to address language, literacy and content
    instruction and inservice training on how to use
    them in an integrated and coherent fashion
  • Appropriate student groupings and flexible
    scheduling to provide adequate time for learning.

Curriculum Development Process for English
Language Learners
State Content ELD Standards School District
Content ELD Standards Instructional Objectives
Learning Outcomes Student Assessment Task
Analysis Design of Learning Activities
The English Language Development Curriculum
  • Has continuity, sequence progression in the
    level of linguistic and cognitive demands on
  • Is based on a variety of methods approaches to
    address language proficiency levels and learning
  • Provides ample practice application of
    vocabulary, grammatical structures and meaningful
    communication skills

Structured English Immersion
  • An over-extended term that loosely describes a
    program for educating language minority students
    in English
  • Intended to be a spiraling standards-based
    curriculum based on principles and research in
    second-language acquisition
  • Utilizes ELD SDAIE approaches within an
    integrated language arts curriculum and thematic
    lesson design for content-area instruction

English as a Second Language
  • Uses second or foreign language teaching methods
  • Content is the English language Specific points
    of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary
  • Goal is to develop communicative competence for
    beginning L2 learners

English Language Development
  • Focus is on language teaching using L2 methods
  • Designed for lower levels of language proficiency
  • Emphasis is on listening, speaking early
    literacy instruction
  • Organized around themes based on academic
    standards in the content areas

Specially Designed Academic Instruction in
English (SDAIE)
  • Focuses on teaching content (social studies,
    math, science, etc.) with modifications for
    intermediate language proficiency
  • Strong emphasis on developing conceptual
    understanding and L2 literacy
  • Maintains high expectations, but assumes a lag in
    development of native-speaker equivalent language
    and academic skills

Rising to the Challenge
  • Advocating for sound and effective education
  • Acquiring human, material and fiscal resources
  • Seeking teachers expertise and input
  • Supporting coherent program implementation for
    English Language Learners