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ERIC Number: ED570130
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 28
English Language Learners: Research on the Effects of Reclassification. Information Capsule. Volume 1506
Blazer, Christie
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Since the 1970s, federal civil rights legislation has mandated that school districts identify English language learners (ELLs) and provide them with services that allow them to fully participate in the educational system. The intent of this requirement is to ensure educational equity for students whose limited knowledge of English prevents them from benefitting from academic instruction provided in English. School districts continue to struggle with the issue of when to reclassify English language learners (ELLs) as fluent English proficient (FEP) students. Reclassifying ELLs prematurely can place them at risk for academic failure, but leaving ELLs in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs too long can also have detrimental effects. Researchers estimate that between one-quarter and one-half of this country's ELLs are classified as long-term ELLs, defined as those who have been in school for more than six years without reaching English proficiency. This Information Capsule summarizes the disadvantages of long-term ELL status and the challenges associated with the reclassification of ELLs to FEP status. Diversity in reclassification practices across states is also discussed. Research reviewed for this Information Capsule found: (1) fluency in English is one of the factors most strongly associated with students' higher academic performance; (2) students who have been reclassified as FEP tend to academically outperform students who remain classified as ELLs; and (3) students who exit ESOL programs at the earlier grade levels have greater academic success than students who exit ESOL programs at the later grade levels.
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. 1450 NE Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. Tel: 305-995-1000; Fax: 305-995-7521; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Research Services
Identifiers - Location: California; Florida; New York (New York)