ERIC Number: ED499086
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Uncommonly Successful English/Language Arts Programs Share Common Instructional Features
Center on English Learning & Achievement (NJ1)
This research brief is published at the mid-way point of a five-year study that is analyzing a spectrum of programs in four states to identify outstanding English instruction in secondary schools. Outstanding schools are defined as those whose students beat the odds and outscore their peers in comparable skills on high-stakes, standardized test of English language skills. Six common features are identified: (1) Students learn skill and knowledge in multiple lesson types; (2) Teachers integrate test preparation into instruction; (3) Teachers make connections across instruction, curriculum and life; (4) Students learn strategies for ways to do the work; (5) Students are expected to be creative thinkers; and (6) Classrooms foster cognitive collaboration. English teachers in the effective programs draw from a broad scope of instruction approaches. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and dedicated, and their students, many of whom live in poor, urban neighborhoods, are active, engaged, and "minds on" in class. While more typical schools in the study want scholars to do better, and take action towards that goal, they lack the overall systematic, organized, highly informed and participatory features that pervade the more successful schools. When all six identified features pervade the education environment, they add the comprehensiveness that English programs require to make a difference in helping all students attain the language and literacy skills they need.
Descriptors: Language Arts, Standardized Tests, Literacy, English Teachers, Language Skills, Instructional Effectiveness, English Instruction, Program Evaluation, Secondary Education, Student Evaluation, Outcomes of Education, Teaching Methods, Relevance (Education), Learning Strategies, Creative Thinking, Test Wiseness, Test Coaching, Effective Schools Research, Program Effectiveness
Center on English Learning & Achievement. University at Albany-B9, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222. Tel: 518-442-5026; Fax: 518-442-5933; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://cela.albany.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Albany, NY.