Topic: English Language Learners
Purpose: In 2003–2004, English language learner services were provided to 3.8 million students in the U.S., or 11 percent of all students. Most English language learners confront an educational landscape where they must study and be tested on grade-level curricula in a new language at the same time they are learning that language.
CREATE's focused program of research is designed to address the critical challenge of improving educational outcomes of English language learners (ELLs) by
Project QuEST, Quality English and Science Teaching
Principal Investigator: Diane August, Center for Applied Linguistics
Project QuEST (Quality English and Science Teaching) investigates a systematic intervention model to concurrently develop science content and language and literacy skills in middle school English language learners. The overarching goal of this project is to improve the language and literacy instruction of English-language learners and their English-proficient peers and concurrently build their knowledge of key science concepts at the sixth grade level.
Adaptations of Peer-Assisted Learning for English Language Learners: Application to Middle-School Social Studies Classes
Principal Investigator: Sharon Vaughn, University of Texas at Austin
This project addresses the critical need to provide effective instruction for ELL students in social studies classes in seventh grade. Specifically, the study is designed to examine the efficacy of social studies instruction that is enhanced with specific instructional and learning strategies, supplemental materials (for example, video), and purposeful pairing of students. The goal is to enhance knowledge acquisition and vocabulary/concept learning through systematic practices associated with improved outcomes for ELL students in middle school content classes.
Adapting Texts to English Language Learners' Needs
Principal Investigator Catherine Snow, Harvard University
This project is developing alternative, simpler forms of texts to make them more accessible to ELL students. The ELL-accessible paragraphs will provide a basis for a modified, ELL-focused version of Word Generation, an interdisciplinary middle school academic language support program.
Word Generation is a vocabulary support program designed to be used in middle schools across all content areas: it uses engaging paragraphs to present all-purpose academic words as well as activities to help students learn them. It is being developed with support from the Strategic Education Research Partnership and formatively evaluated in Boston Public Middle Schools.
The Impact of the SIOP Model on Middle School Science and Language Learning
Principal Investigators Deborah Short and Jennifer Himmel, Center for Applied Linguistics
Jana Echevarria, and Catherine Richards, California State University, Long Beach
One promising approach to improve the academic performance of ELL students is the SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Model, an empirically-tested, research-based model of sheltered instruction developed by researchers at the Center for Applied Linguistics and California State University, Long Beach. It incorporates best practices for teaching academic English and provides teachers with a coherent approach for improving the achievement of their students.
The Impact of the SIOP Model on Middle School Science and Language Learning is a five-year study (2005–2010) evaluating the effectiveness of the SIOP Model. This study is investigating the impact of the SIOP Model on student academic achievement in science, a subject area with high language demands. The researchers will scale-up the research to multiple sites across the U.S. in a series of controlled, randomized studies.
Francis, D.J., and Vaughn, S.(2009). Effective Practices for English Language Learners in the Middle Grades: Introduction to the Special Issue of Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, (Special Issue: Effective Practices for English Language Learners in the Middle Grades), 2 (4): 289–296.
Vaughn, S., Martinez, L.R., Linan-Thompson, S., Reutebuch, C.K., Carlson, C.D., and Francis, D.J. (2009). Enhancing Social Studies Vocabulary and Comprehension for Seventh-Grade English Language Learners: Findings From Two Experimental Studies Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, (Special Issue: Effective Practices for English Language Learners in the Middle Grades), 2 (4): 297–324.
Snow, C.E., Lawrence, J.F., and White, C. (2009). Generating Knowledge of Academic Language Among Urban Middle School Students. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, (Special Issue: Effective Practices for English Language Learners in the Middle Grades), 2(4): 325–344.
August, D., Branum-Martin, L., Cardenas-Hagan, E., and Francis, D.J. (2009). The Impact of an Instructional Intervention on the Science and Language Learning of Middle Grade English Language Learners. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, (Special Issue: Effective Practices for English Language Learners in the Middle Grades), 2(4): 345–376.
Echevarria, J., Richards-Tutor, C., Chinn, V., & Ratleff, P. (in press). Did They Get It? The Role of Fidelity in Improving Teaching for English Learners. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.
Echevarria, J., & Hasbrouck, J. (2009). Response to Intervention and English Learners. Washington, DC: Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners. Retrieved from http://www.cal.org/create/resources/pubs/responsetointerv.html.
Himmel, J., Short, D.J., Richards, C., & Echevarria, J. (2009). Using the SIOP Model to Improve Middle School Science Instruction. Washington, DC: Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners. Retrieved from http://www.cal.org/create/resources/pubs/siopscience.html.
Key Personnel: Diane August, Coleen Carlson, Jana Echevarria, David Francis, Elfrieda Hiebert, Sylvia Linan-Thompson, Catherine Richards, Deborah Short, Catherine Snow, Sharon Vaughn.
Center Website: http://www.cal.org/create/.
IES Program Contact: Dr. Elizabeth Albro
Telephone: (202) 219-2148