ERIC Number: ED497864
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Reference Count: 13
Teaching English-Language Learners: What Does the Research Say? ATF Educational Issues Research Brief Number 14
American Federation of Teachers
This policy brief describes the ongoing debates over the most appropriate methods for educating students, the need for stronger research into the educational attainment of English language learners (ELLs) and recommendations for developing quality programs for ELLs. The National Research Council (NRC) recommends that schools seek to implement programs that are closely aligned with what is known about what makes any school effective. The authors of this policy brief suggest several additional features to the NRC recommendations, including: (1) smaller class sizes; (2) an effective program of early reading instruction (including instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, and comprehension skills, as well as attention to building students' vocabulary and background knowledge); (3) early intervention programs to help struggling students; (4) a safe and orderly learning environment; and perhaps most important; and (5) fully qualified teacher in every classroom. In the case of bilingual education, this means that teachers should be certified, skilled and knowledgeable in the requisite content area(s), and fully proficient in both English and the students' native language. All teachers of English-language learners should also be given access to professional development in the process and strategies of language acquisition. Appendix A presents English-Language Learners: Facts and Figures. Appendix B, "Choosing a Program Model," which describes variables that influence a district's decision to develop a specific type of program for the instruction of English-language learners.
Descriptors: Phonemes, Second Language Learning, Early Intervention, Early Reading, Educational Attainment, Bilingual Education, English (Second Language), Reading Instruction, Teaching Methods, Research Needs, Class Size, Reading Comprehension, Educational Environment, Teacher Effectiveness, Bilingual Teachers, Professional Development, School Districts, Educational Research
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; Web site: http://www.aft.org
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: American Federation of Teachers, Washington, DC.