An Efficacy Study of Project GLAD
Purpose: In U.S. schools, English language learners (ELLs) receive most of their instruction in mainstream classrooms. Their teachers need to be able to help them access grade-level content and meet state standards while also developing their English language proficiency. This study will test the efficacy of Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design), an instructional model specifically designed to help classroom teachers integrate the development of academic English with content area instruction for non-native English speakers. The model is designed to benefit all students in a mainstream classroom with many ELLs.
Project Activities: Fifth-grade teachers will be trained to implement Project GLAD in their classrooms to improve acquisition of academic English for ELLs as well as native-English speaking students. Specifically, teachers will use GLAD to improve learning in science and social studies. Teachers will participate in workshops and receive classroom demonstrations and coaching support in the use of GLAD. The efficacy of GLAD will be studied during the training year as well as the following year by examining student performance in literacy and science.
Products: This study will produce evidence of the efficacy of Project GLAD in improving student outcomes in literacy and science for both ELLs and their native-speaking peers in the classroom.
Setting: The evaluation will take place in 25 elementary schools in Idaho.
Population: The study participants will be both native English speakers and ELLs in fifth grade.
Intervention: Project GLAD is a K–12 instructional model consisting of 35 well-articulated strategies that teachers can use to help students develop academic English and learn grade-level academic content at the same time. The strategies help teachers provide differentiated instruction in classrooms that serve native speakers as well as ELLs at various levels of English proficiency, and they are designed to be incorporated with existing science or social studies curricula. The 35 strategies fall across four broad components: motivation (setting behavior standards and building engagement), input (providing information in multiple formats), guided oral practice strategies (scaffolding student understanding, use of key vocabulary and language structures) and reading/writing (scaffolding student academic literacy). Project GLAD was developed in California in the 1980s and has been used as a fully developed model since 1991.
Research Design and Methods: The efficacy of Project GLAD will be tested using a cluster randomized design, with 75 teachers from 25 schools randomly assigned to treatment or control conditions. In the first year of implementation, the treatment group will receive standard GLAD training, consisting of a two-day workshop, five days of demonstration and lesson planning, followed by three days of expert coaching spread over the school year. Training and coaching will be provided by certified GLAD trainers. Implementation and outcome data will be collected both during this first year of training as well as the following year (with a second cohort of fifth-grade students).
Control Condition: Teachers in control classrooms will receive the standard professional development provided by their district and teach using their standard instructional routines.
Key Measures: Student outcomes will be measured by the Gates-MacGinitie vocabulary and reading comprehension assessments, a 6-Traits expository writing assessment, and the Idaho state assessment of science. Implementation will be measured by monthly surveys of teachers in treatment classrooms and three classroom observations per year in treatment and control conditions.
Data Analytic Strategy: Student outcomes will be analyzed using multilevel modeling to account for student nesting in classrooms. Analyses will be conducted to determine whether GLAD shows differential impact for ELL and non-ELL students. Teacher levels of implementation will be summarized across and within GLAD strategies to identify both the overall level of implementation as well as which strategies were fully implemented.
Project Website: http://projectgladstudy.educationnorthwest.org
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