WWC review of this study

The effectiveness of cross-level peer involvement in the acquisition of English as a second language by Spanish-speaking migrant children (Doctoral dissertation).

Serrano, C. J. (1987). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 8723140)

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    30
     Students
    , grades
    3-5
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: February 2017

English language development outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

IDEA Oral Language Proficiency Test (IPT I)

Cross-Level Peer Involvement vs. Business as usual

3 Months

Full sample;
30 students

N/A

N/A

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners

  • Rural
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Florida

Setting

One school was used in this study. The school was located in Indiana River County, which is a county located in the Treasure Coast region of the state of Florida. The author described the elementary school as being from a rural community in the "heart of the citrus fruit region" (pg. 51). The students were from multiple classrooms and one teacher taught all of the students (both the intervention and comparison students).

Study sample

The authors did not provide information about the students' race or gender. All students were aged 8 - 12 in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. In addition, all students in the intervention and comparison groups were ELL students (100%).

Intervention Group

The study lasted nearly three months, from January 1987 to the end of March 1987. Students participated in peer tutoring sessions on a daily basis for 20 minutes. A total of 37 sessions, constituting 12.3 hours of second language instruction, were provided. The tutors also received training which lasted for 20 minutes every week. Both the native-Spanish and English tutors received training, which included "explanations and demonstrations of effective second language teaching and learning procedures, including attention getting, clear presentation, modeling, prompting, questioning techniques, and managing procedures" (pg. 56).

Comparison Group

The comparison condition received business-as-usual whole-group, teacher-led education.

Support for implementation

"The researcher participated as an observer with individual dyads bimonthly after which time a Tutor Observation Checklist was completed as part of the management system" (pg. 57). In addition, the tutors received training from the teacher and a research assistant every week. No other information about implementation support was provided.

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: July 2007

English language development outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

IDEA Oral Langugae Proficiency Test (IPT I)

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as Usual

3 Months

Grades 3-5 with English-only tutors;
30 students

12.2

11.3

No

--
More Outcomes

IDEA Oral Language Proficiency Test (IPT I)

Peer Tutoring and Response Groups vs. Business as Usual

3 Months

Grades 3–5 with bilingual tutors;
29 students

14.2

11.3

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    100%
    Not Hispanic
    0%
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Florida

Setting

The study took place at one elementary school in the School District of Indian River County, Florida.

Study sample

The study included 42 English language learners in grades 3–5. (The study began with 50 students. Minor attrition occurred, with eight students moving out of the district during the implementation of the study. Of the eight students, three left the bilingual tutor group, four left the English-only tutor group, and one left the comparison group.) These students were native Spanish-speaking and were children of Mexican and Mexican-American migrant workers who seasonally reside in Florida to pick citrus fruits. English language learners were administered a pretest, the IDEA Oral Language Proficiency Test I (K-6) (Ballard, Tighe, & Dalton, 1982, as cited by Serrano, 1987) and were divided into two levels of English language proficiency. Students at each level were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Overall, 12 students were assigned to the bilingual tutoring group, 13 students were assigned to the English-only tutoring group, and 17 students were assigned to the comparison group. The analytic sample for the first and second interventions is 29 and 30 students respectively.

Intervention Group

Students participated in a three-month tutoring program. Two versions of the program were examined: a tutoring group where the ELL tutee worked with a bilingual (somewhat proficient in both English and Spanish) student tutor and a tutoring group where the ELL tutee worked with an English-speaking tutor who did not speak Spanish. Students were assigned to their tutors based on age, sex, and grade level criteria. Tutoring included daily 20-minute sessions. A total of 37 sessions were implemented in the study for a total of 12.3 hours of tutoring. Tutoring focused on English language instruction and included lessons on life skills and every day tasks. For example, tutors introduced vocabulary, played a cassette tape that asked tutees to respond to directions and commands, and used a set of pictures to help ask comprehension questions. Each tutoring lesson focused on a life skill task (such as caring for a cut).

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition did not receive tutoring. The control group consisted of whole-group second language instruction led by the teacher.

Outcome descriptions

The primary outcome was oral language proficiency as measured by the IDEA Oral Language Proficiency Test I (K-6) (Ballard, Tighe, & Dalton, 1982, as cited by Serrano, 1987). The test assesses syntax, comprehension, vocabulary, and verbal expression.

Support for implementation

Student tutors participated in a series of 20-minute training sessions before tutoring began. Training content included explanations and demonstrations of effective second language teaching, modeling instructions, prompting, asking questions, and managing time and behavior. Role-playing was also included in training where the trainer played the role of the learner to help tutors practice tutoring skills.

 

Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

loading
back to top