Skip Navigation

Analysis of Arizona Third Grade Language and Literacy Outcomes by Kindergarten English Learner Student Classifications

Region:
West
Abstract:

Description: Across Arizona, many school districts and communities have renewed their focus on early literacy development. Through the Arizona Literacy Partnership, REL West collaborates with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and local districts. The overall goal of the partnership is to examine early literacy interventions and supports to improve reading proficiency by grade 3. Literacy and English language proficiency of English learner students are of specific interest to the partnership.

For this study, ADE is partnering with REL West to use existing state data to help establish baseline information about literacy and language attainment of non-native English speakers in the early grades, better understand the characteristics of students who might need the most support, and examine the characteristics of schools where these students are enrolled. Because English learner students, as a group, tend to lag behind native English speakers in their rate of academic achievement (Hemphill & Vanneman, 2011; Fry, 2007), this project examines early literacy and language attainment of English learner students who enter kindergarten. This study also goes beyond previous analyses by examining how language and literacy outcomes of non-native English speakers, including students not identified as English learner students, vary by student and school characteristics.

Research Questions:

  1. Among non-native English speakers identified through the PHLOTE survey, what is the distribution of the initial level of English language proficiency (ELP) as measured by AZELLA? What percentage of the 2013/14 kindergarten cohort are categorized as English learner students?
  2. Among students identified as English learner students in kindergarten, what is the relationship between the initial level of English language proficiency (ELP) and English language proficiency from kindergarten to third grade?
    1. How does the distribution of English proficiency change from kindergarten to third grade by initial level of English language proficiency?
    2. In addition to students' initial level of English language proficiency, which student and school characteristics are related to reaching English proficiency by third grade?
  3. Among students identified as non-native English speakers in kindergarten, what is the relationship between the initial level of English language proficiency (ELP) and third grade English literacy scores?
    1. What is the distribution of third grade English literacy scores by initial level of English language proficiency?
    2. In addition to students' initial level of English language proficiency (ELP), which student and school characteristics are related to English literacy in third grade?
Study Design: REL West will retrospectively identify students who were identified through the Primary Home Language Other Than English (PHLOTE) Survey as non-native English speakers and took the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA) for possible placement in EL services in kindergarten. The study will then examine their progress through third grade in both English language proficiency (ELP) and English language arts achievement (ELA). This analysis will use scores on the AZELLA and the Arizona Measurement of Education Readiness to Inform Teaching (AzMERIT) to examine ELP and ELA outcomes, respectively.

Projected Release Data: Late 2019

Research Alliance: Arizona Literacy Partnership

Study Related Products: Making Connections Report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:

Lenay Dunn, REL West
Vanessa Ximenes Barrat, REL West

Contact: