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ERIC Number: ED497628
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jul-30
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 85
English Language Learners. What Works Clearinghouse Topic Report
What Works Clearinghouse
English language learners are students with a primary language other than English who have a limited range of speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills in English. English language learners also include students identified and determined by their school as having limited English proficiency and a language other than English spoken in the home. This review focuses on programs to improve the English language literacy and/or academic achievement of elementary school students who are English language learners. For a program to be included, the majority of instruction has to be conducted in English (approximately 80%) but teachers might occasionally provide some native language support. The review focuses on programs for English language learners in grades K-6. It also includes studies in which students may no longer be considered to have limited English proficiency by their school but still have limited English language skills. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) looked at 73 studies of 32 programs that qualified for review. Of these, 16 studies of 12 programs met WWC's evidence standards--8 without reservations, and 8 with reservations. Twenty programs reviewed had no studies meeting WWC evidence screens, three of which were eligible for inclusion in this topic review but did not have studies. Additionally, 20 studies could not be categorized by an intervention and are not cited in the report. (The initial identification of eligible programs, practices, and studies ended in March 2006.) The review focused on three outcome domains: reading achievement, mathematics achievement, and English language development. In looking at the three outcome domains for the 12 interventions, the following produced potentially positive effects on reading achievement and English language development: (1) Bilingual Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition; (2) Instructional Conversations and Literature Logs; and (3) Vocabulary Improvement Program. Eight other programs and practices had potentially positive effects in one domain. One program had no discernible effects in two domains. (Contains 2 tables, 2 figures, and 1 footnote.) [The following studies, reviewed in this intervention report, met WWC standards: (1) Uchikoshi, Y. (2005). "Narrative development in bilingual kindergartners: Can Arthur help?" Developmental Psychology, 41(3), 464-478; (2) Vaughn, S., Cirino, P. T., Linan-Thompson, S., Mathes, P. G., Carlson, C. D., Cardenas-Hagan, E., et al. (2006). "Effectiveness of a Spanish intervention and an English intervention for English language learners at risk for reading problems." American Educational Research Journal, 43(3), 449-487; (3) Scientific Learning Corporation. (2004). "Improved language skills by children with low reading performance who used Fast ForWord Language: MAPS for learning." MAPS for Learning, 3(1), 1-13; (4) Jun-Aust, H. (1985, March). "Individual differences in second language learning of Korean immigrant students." Paper presented at the International Conference on Second/Foreign Language Acquisition by Children, Oklahoma City, OK; (5) Prater, D. L., and Bermudez, A. B. (1983). "Using peer response groups with limited English proficient writers." Bilingual Research Journal, 17 (1, 2), 99-116; (6) Serrano, C. J. (1987). "The effectiveness of cross-level peer involvement in the acquisition of English as a second language by Spanish-speaking migrant children." Dissertation Abstracts International, 48 (07), 1682-A. (UMI No. 8723149); (7) Saenz, L. M., Fuchs, L. S., and Fuchs, D. (2005). "Peer-assisted learning strategies for English language learners with learning disabilities." Exceptional Children, 71(3), 231-247; and (8) Gunn, B., Biglan, A., Smolkowski, K., and Ary, D. (2000). "The efficacy of supplemental instruction in decoding skills for Hispanic and non-Hispanic students in early elementary school." Journal of Special Education, 34, 90-103.]
What Works Clearinghouse. 2277 Research Boulevard, MS 5M, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 866-992-9799; Fax: 301-519-6760; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED)