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ERIC Number: EJ980180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 107
English Learners and Out-of-School Time Programs: The Potential of OST Programs to Foster EL Success
Maxwell-Jolly, Julie
Afterschool Matters, n14 p1-12 Fall 2011
That the English learner (EL) student population is growing is not a problem, but that ELs are not generally thriving in U.S. classrooms is. ELs score lower on tests, get poorer grades, take fewer advanced or college prep classes at the secondary level, and graduate from high school at much lower rates than do native speakers of English. Moreover, the likelihood that EL students will receive any post-secondary education or find and maintain stable employment is lower than for other students. One reason for this lower level of achievement is "time". ELs have to learn a new language, learn content through this new language, and learn about the culture of the school as well as the culture at large--all in the same amount of time English-fluent students have in which to learn only content. Out-of-school time (OST) programs have the potential to offer educational benefits to this growing EL population by devoting their valuable resource of "time" to research-based activities that can support ELs facing the dual challenge of learning both English and subject matter content. A number of research-supported strategies for improving EL achievement can potentially be applied in OST settings: (1) incorporating primary language use; (2) providing opportunities for practice and interaction in a relatively risk-free environment; (3) addressing ELs' individual differences including a wide range of backgrounds and English proficiency; (4) fostering student motivation and engagement; and (5) promoting connections with students' families and communities. In order to move from potential to positive outcomes for ELs, OST educators and administrators must plan how best to make use of the precious resource of extra time that OST programs provide. This article offers some recommendations.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California