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ERIC Number: EJ991176
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
A Longitudinal Analysis of Academic English Proficiency Outcomes for Adolescent English Language Learners in the United States
Slama, Rachel B.
Journal of Educational Psychology, v104 n2 p265-285 May 2012
The recent availability of nationally mandated academic English proficiency data on all English language learners (ELLs) from landmark United States federal education legislation now makes it possible to track these learners' academic progress longitudinally. Using 5 waves of 9th through 12th grade academic English proficiency data from 2004-2008 for a statewide cohort of 9th grade ELLs (n = 3,702), I employed growth modeling to fit a multilevel model for change in academic English proficiency (Singer & Willett, 2003). I found that the average ELL in my sample started high school performing at an early intermediate level of academic English proficiency and was not projected to reach the score indicating proficiency until the end of 11th grade. Further, U.S.-born ELLs began high school with significantly higher levels of academic English proficiency than their foreign-born ELL peers, but foreign-born ELLs caught up by the end of high school. However, 60% of high school ELLs were born in the U.S.--implying that large numbers of these students had spent 9 or more years in U.S. schools without developing sufficient academic language needed to perform mainstream academic work in English. The findings emphasize the need for academic language interventions for adolescent ELLs. This study has implications for countries struggling to promote the language development and academic achievement of large numbers of language minority learners. (Contains 4 figures, 9 tables, and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts