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ERIC Number: EJ959094
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
The Arizona Home Language Survey: The Under-Identification of Students for English Language Services
Goldenberg, Claude; Rutherford-Quach, Sara
Language Policy, v11 n1 p21-30 Feb 2012
Assuring that English learners (ELs) receive the support services to which they are entitled requires accurately identifying students who are limited in their English proficiency. As a first step in the identification process, students' parents fill out a home language survey. If the survey indicates a language other than English is spoken in the home, students are then assessed for English language proficiency. The home language survey thus plays an important gatekeeping role. In July, 2009, the Arizona Department of Education reduced the number of questions on the state's home language survey from three to one. This article addresses whether this reduction in questions can lead to under-identification of students who, by the state's own criterion (i.e., performance on the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment, or AZELLA), are entitled to EL services. Analyses of data from two Arizona school districts clearly show that use of a single home language survey question will under-identify substantial numbers of English learners. Further, it is highly unlikely that a fail-safe mechanism established by the state, whereby teachers can nominate potential ELs for language testing, will successfully identify more than a small number of students missed by the single question survey.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona