|Reading and Language Outcomes of a Five-Year Randomized Evaluation of Transitional Bilingual Education
|This study examined how the English reading performance of predominantly Spanish-speaking students in transitional bilingual education compared with the performance of predominantly Spanish-speaking students in structured English immersion. Students were randomly assigned to receive either transitional bilingual education or structured English immersion upon entering kindergarten and were followed for three, four, or five years. The study authors found that at the end of kindergarten and first grade, students in structured English immersion had significantly better English-reading skills than students in transitional bilingual education. By the end of second and third grades, when many students in transitional bilingual education had switched to instruction in English, the differences in skills were statistically insignificant for six of the eight outcomes tested. When the students reached fourth grade, they only received English instruction. At this time, differences in English-reading skills between the groups were all statistically insignificant. Two of the four outcomes, though, showed large enough differences favoring structured English immersion that the WWC considered them noteworthy. The WWC rated the research described in this report as meeting WWC evidence standards but offered the following caution: Although all three cohorts of students are included in the analyses of first and second grade outcomes, the analyses of kindergarten and third grade outcomes include two cohorts, and the analysis of fourth grade outcomes includes only one cohort of students.
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|September 8, 2010
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