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Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners

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Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners David J. Francis, Ph.D. Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners


1
Practical Guidelines for the Education of English
Language Learners
  • David J. Francis, Ph.D.
  • Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, and
    Statistics
  • Center on Instruction ELL Strand
  • University of Houston
  • Presented at LEP Partnership Meeting
  • Washington, DC
  • October 28, 2006

2
The Center on Instruction is operated by RMC
Research Corporation in partnership with the
Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida
StateUniversity RG Research Group the Texas
Institute for Measurement,Evaluation, and
Statistics at the University of Houston and the
VaughnGross Center for Reading and Language Arts
at the University of Texas at Austin.The
contents of this PowerPoint were developed under
cooperative agreement S283B050034 withthe U.S.
Department of Education. However, these contents
do not necessarilyrepresent the policy of the
Department of Education, and you should
notassume endorsement by the Federal
Government.2006 The Center on Instruction
requests that no changes be made to the content
or appearance of this product. To download a
copy of this document, visit www.centeroninstructi
on.org

3
Practical Guidelines for the Education of ELLs
  • Collaborators
  • Nonie Lesaux, GSE, Harvard University
  • Mabel Rivera, COI, TIMES, University of Houston
  • Michael Kieffer, GSE, Harvard University
  • Hector Rivera, COI, TIMES, University of Houston

4
Practical Guidelines for the Education of ELLs
  • Three books
  • Research-based Recommendations for Instruction
    and Academic Interventions
  • Research-based Recommendations for Serving
    Adolescent Newcomers
  • Research-based Recommendations for the Use of
    Accommodations in Large-scale Assessments

5
Guide to working with the Documents
  • Single document with separate sections vs.
    separate documents
  • Intent was for documents that would work
    together, but which could also stand on their own
  • Redundancy of some background material
  • Conventions
  • Footnotes for information the reader might need
    immediately while reading
  • Endnotes for references and more detailed
    explication of the literature behind a point

6
Key Reference Materials
  • Instruction and Intervention
  • August Shanahan (2006)
  • Genessee, Lindholm-Leary, Saunders, Christian
    (2006)
  • Newcomers
  • August Shanahan (2006) Genessee et al. (2006)
  • Short Boyson (2004)
  • Accommodations
  • Abedi, Hofstetter, Lord (2004).
  • Sireci, Li, Carpati (2003)
  • Rivera, Collum, Shafner Willner (2006)

7
ELLs and NCLB
  • Membership is defined by limited proficiency in
    an area that directly affects learning and
    assessment
  • Group membership is expected to be temporary
  • ELLs face unique set of learning challenges
  • to develop the content-related knowledge and
    skills that define state standards
  • while simultaneously acquiring a second language,
    and
  • particularly in the case of young children, at a
    time when their first language is not fully
    developed, and
  • (possibly) to demonstrate their learning on an
    assessment in the second language

8
ELLs and NCLB
  • ELLs present a unique set of challenges to
  • Teachers
  • Administrators
  • Assessment Systems
  • Accountability Systems

9
Academic Language is the Key Organizing Principle
  • See Scarcella (2003) for detailed introduction to
    Academic Language
  • Development of academic language
  • is fundamental to academic success in all domains
  • is the primary source of ELLs difficulties with
    academic content at all ages and grades
  • can remain a challenge even after students
    achieve proficiency on current state language
    proficiency tests
  • affects ELLs performance on large-scale
    assessments

10
Academic Language
  • Impossible to overstate the role that academic
    language plays in determining students success
  • Good conversational English skills may be
    accompanied by limited academic language skills
  • For example, in studies of elementary and middle
    school students, including those no longer
    designated as LEP, mean vocabulary scores below
    the 20th percentile are not uncommon.

11
Academic Language
  • Academic Language is comprised of many skills
  • Vocabulary knowledge (both depth and breadth)
  • Depth knowing multiple meanings, both common
    and uncommon, for a given word
  • Breadth knowing the meanings of many words,
    including multiple words for the same, or
    related, concepts
  • Written vocabulary as distinct from oral
    vocabulary
  • Understanding of complex sentence structures and
    syntax
  • Understanding the structure of argument, academic
    discourse, and expository texts

12
General Organization
  • Foreword
  • Overview
  • Description of the Population
  • Organization and General Methods
  • Recommendations for (multiple sections)
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Specific Recommendations

13
Who Are English Language Learners?
  • Comprise one of the fastest-growing groups among
    the school-aged population in this nation
  • Over 9M students, roughly 5.5M classified as LEP
  • ELL school-aged population has grown by more than
    169 from 1979 to 2003 (vs. 12 growth in
    general)
  • Expected to be 30 of school-aged population in
    2015
  • Over 400 different home languages are represented
  • Spanish is the predominant home language (70)

14
Who Are English Language Learners?
  • Largest and fastest growing ELL populations are
  • Students who immigrated before Kindergarten, and
  • U.S. born children of immigrants
  • Compared to native English-speaking peers
  • On Grade 4 NAEP, ELLs were 1/4th as likely to
    score proficient or above in Reading and 1/3rd as
    likely in Math
  • ELLs are less likely to score proficient on State
    tests
  • These results may be biased in so far as they
    reflect performance of students who retain the
    designation of LEP

15
Who Are English Language Learners?
  • Some states have begun to look at the performance
    of ELLs on State tests after they have gained
    proficiency in English
  • These reports show that some ELL students do well
    in school
  • Nevertheless, many students who have lost the
    formal LEP designation continue to struggle with
    academic text, content, and language
  • The documents were written with this latter group
    of current and former LEP students in mind

16
Book 1 Instruction and Intervention
  • Foreword
  • Overview
  • Reading
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Recommendations
  • Mathematics
  • Conceptual Framework
  • Recommendations

17
Guiding Principles for Planning Instruction and
Intervention
  • Reading is fundamental to the development of
    content-area knowledge and academic success
  • Applies to all learners
  • We distinguish three functions for instruction
    augmentation, prevention, remediation
  • To be effective, educators must have a clear
    understanding of the specific sources of
    difficulty or weakness for individual students
    and groups of students

18
Guiding Principles for Planning Instruction and
Intervention
  • ELLs often lack the academic language necessary
    for comprehending and analyzing text
  • The great majority of ELLs experiencing reading
    difficulties struggle with the skills related to
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • These areas are mutually interdependent

19
Recommendations on Reading Instruction and
Intervention
  • ELLs need early, explicit, and intensive
    instruction in phonological awareness and phonics
    in order to build decoding skills
  • These skills are highly correlated across
    alphabetic languages (i.e., correlations above
    .9)
  • K-12 classrooms across the nation must increase
    opportunities for ELLs to develop sophisticated
    vocabulary knowledge

20
Recommendations on Reading Instruction and
Intervention
  • Reading instruction in K-12 classrooms must equip
    ELLs with strategies and knowledge to comprehend
    and analyze challenging narrative and expository
    texts
  • Instruction and intervention to promote ELLs
    reading fluency must focus on vocabulary
    development and increased exposure to print

21
Recommendations on Reading Instruction and
Intervention
  • In all K-12 classrooms across the U.S., ELLs need
    significant opportunities to engage in
    structured, academic talk
  • Independent reading is beneficial, BUT
  • it must be structured and purposeful, and
  • there must be a good reader-text match

22
Recommendations on Mathematics Instruction and
Intervention
  • Generally much less research to guide
    recommendations
  • Academic language is as central to mathematics as
    it is to other academic areas
  • a significant source of difficulty for many ELLs
    who struggle with mathematics
  • ELLs need early, explicit, and intensive
    instruction and intervention in basic mathematics
    concepts and skill
  • ELLs need academic language support to understand
    and solve the word problems that are often used
    for mathematics assessment and instruction

23
Book 2 Adolescent Newcomers
  • Foreword
  • Overview
  • Elements of Effective Instruction
  • Organizational Elements of Effective Programs

24
Elements of Effective Instruction for Adolescent
Newcomers
  • Short Boyson (2004)
  • August Shanahan (2006)
  • All middle and secondary school classrooms must
    address the language and literacy skills
    adolescent newcomers need for content area
    learning
  • All adolescent newcomers need instruction in
    academic language, which they need for text
    comprehension and school success

25
Elements of Effective Instruction for Adolescent
Newcomers
  • Adolescent newcomers need direct, explicit
    instruction to support their comprehension of
    challenging texts
  • Adolescent newcomers must receive intensive
    instruction in writing for academic purposes
  • Effective classroom instruction begins with
    systematic assessment of students strengths and
    needs, as well as ongoing monitoring of students
    progress
  • Students with word-reading difficulties need
    targeted and explicit intervention

26
Organizational Elements of Effective Newcomer
Programs
  • Empirical research is limited
  • Systematic support for assessment and placement
    of students
  • Heterogeneous grouping
  • Extended instructional time
  • Coordinated efforts newcomer programs, programs
    for advanced ELLs, and mainstream classes
  • Targeted resources for language and literacy
    instruction

27
Book 3 Accommodations
  • Foreword
  • Overview
  • Review of State Policies
  • Meta-analysis
  • Technical Appendices

28
Use of Accommodations in Large-scale Assessments
  • Rivera, Collum, Shafer Willner (2006)
  • Abedi, Hofstetter, Lord (2004).
  • Sireci, Li, Carpati (2003)

29
Content Knowledge and Language Proficiency
  • Assessments of content knowledge are influenced
    by students language proficiency
  • Assessments with the most linguistically
    challenging content show the largest performance
    gaps between ELLs and native English speakers
  • It is easier to separate language proficiency
    from content knowledge in some domains (e.g.,
    mathematics) than in others (e.g., reading
    language arts)
  • Appropriate accommodations for ELLs will address
    their linguistic needs either directly or
    indirectly

30
State Policies
  • Educational agencies across the nation provide
    accommodations to ELLs as needed
  • The criteria for selection and strategies for
    implementation vary by state, according to many
    factors
  • Rivera, Collum, Shafer Willner (2006) have
    developed a comprehensive taxonomy for thinking
    about accommodations

31
Partial Listing of Accommodations Responsive to
Needs of ELLs
  • Accommodations of Testing Conditions
  • Extended time
  • Breaks offered between sessions
  • Bilingual glossaries
  • Bilingual dictionaries
  • English glossaries
  • English dictionaries
  • Accommodations as Test Modifications
  • Directions read in English
  • Directions read in native language
  • Directions translated into native language
  • Simplified English
  • Side-by-side bilingual version of the test
  • Native language test
  • Dictation of answers or use of a scribe
  • Test taker responds in native language

32
Criteria for Evaluation of Accommodations
  • Effectiveness
  • Do ELL students who receive the accommodation
    outperform ELL students who do not receive the
    accommodation?
  • Validity
  • Does the accommodation alter the construct
    validity of the test? Do non-ELL students who
    receive the accommodation outperform non-ELL
    students who do not receive the accommodation?
  • Practicality

33
Effective Accommodations for ELLs Results of a
Meta-Analysis
  • 11 studies
  • Each study used random assignment of ELLs and
    non-ELLs to testing conditions with and without
    accommodations
  • Involved 37 different samples of students
  • Reported 37 different tests of the effectiveness
    of accommodations for ELLs

34
Study Descriptions
  • Grades included
  • 4th n11
  • 8th n22
  • 5th or 6th n2 each
  • Subject Areas
  • Math n 17
  • Science n19
  • Reading n1
  • Type of test
  • NAEP items n22
  • NAEP and TIMSS n6
  • State Accountability Assessment n9 (two
    different states)

35
Study Descriptions (cont.)
  • Types of accommodations
  • Simplified English (n15)
  • English dictionary/glossary (n11)
  • Bilingual dictionary/glossary (n5)
  • Extra time (n2)
  • Spanish language test (n2)
  • Dual language questions (n1)
  • Dual language booklet (n1)

36
Results for Fixed Effects Model
37
Results for Random Effects Model
38
Summary of Results
  • Of the seven types of accommodations used, only
    one had an overall positive effect on ELL
    outcomes English language dictionaries and
    glossaries
  • Produced an average effect, which is positive and
    statistically different from zero
  • No indication that this effect varied across the
    studied conditions

39
Summary of Results
  • Findings for native language tests and bilingual
    glossaries are mixed
  • Results varied across studies as evidenced by
    homogeneity test
  • Too few studies to say conclusive what the
    important factors are, but some reasonable
    candidates are
  • Matching language of assessment with language of
    instruction
  • Ensuring that students are literate in L1

40
Summary of Results
  • Results for Simplified English were less
    promising than expected
  • Test of heterogeneity was not rejected,
    indicating that the small average effect is a
    reasonable characterization of the results of the
    current studies

41
Conclusions
  • For any accommodation to be successful in the
    testing situation, students must have experience
    with it during regular instruction
  • The alignment of curriculum, instruction, and
    assessment is crucial to the academic success of
    all students
  • Accommodations alone will not be effective in
    raising test scores of ELLs

42
Conclusions
  • Lack of effects in these studies for Simplified
    English is not an indictment of universal design
  • Research base is limited in important ways
  • Few studies involving State accountability tests
  • Few studies in reading and language arts
  • No accommodation has been studied definitively
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