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ERIC Number: EJ959095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Evaluating the Impact of Restrictive Language Policies: The Arizona 4-Hour English Language Development Block
Rios-Aguilar, Cecilia; Gonzalez Canche, Manuel S.; Sabetghadam, Shirin
Language Policy, v11 n1 p47-80 Feb 2012
Approximately five million English Language Learners (ELLs) attend public schools in the United States. Because the majority of ELLs tend to live in immigrant families, schools become the means to provide ELLs with the English skills necessary to be competent in school and in life. Federal and state policies regarding instructional arrangements for ELLs have been passed ignoring existing research. After years of intense litigation, the state of Arizona passed a highly restrictive language policy--the 4-hour English language development (ELD) block. Its supporters claimed that it is superior to other forms of instructional arrangements. To back up this claim, existing analyses have relied on techniques that have failed to account for individual and within school variation. Using longitudinal academic achievement data, we rely on a difference-in-differences approach to reduce bias in the estimation of the causal effect of 4-h ELD block on ELL students' academic achievement (as measured by AIMS and TerraNova test scores). We consistently found that the 4-h ELD block does "not" contribute to increase ELL students' academic achievement; ELLs who participated in mainstream classrooms and in other instructional arrangements have higher academic achievement compared to ELLs who participated in the 4-h ELD block. Given this evidence, it is clear that this highly restrictive language policy does not meet the language and academic needs of ELLs. Instead, this policy results in more segregation and inequities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona