To add to the evidence base on effective strategies for teaching English language learner students, the 2006-2011 REL West at WestEd conducted a rigorous study of the impact on middle grades student achievement of a teacher professional development program.
The program, Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL), is an approach to improving the teaching of English language learner students. The program aims to enhance the ability of teachers to work with English language learner students and increase the quality of instruction for all other students in the mainstream classroom. QTEL summer institutes consist of seven days of professional development to provide a foundation for using new tools and processes for the academic and linguistic development of adolescent English language learner students.
This study, Evaluation of Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) Professional Development, examined QTEL’s effects on student outcomes in English language arts and English language development, as measured by the California Standards Test and the California English Language Development Test. No significant effects of QTEL were found on student achievement. For teachers, no significant effects were found on attitudes, knowledge, or practice, as measured by the teacher survey, teacher knowledge assessment, and a classroom observation protocol, respectively.
The study sample included middle schools in urban and suburban areas of three Southern California counties. The study was conducted from 2007-2010.The RCT summary for this project is available at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/projects/rct_88.asp.