WHAT ARE WE DOING TO MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH LEARNERS:
Findings and Recommendations for Change from a Study of California EL Programs
With the collaboration of school districts and middle schools across California, QTEL conducted a two-phase study to help policy makers and local educators make informed decisions about the education of English language learners, especially at the middle school level. Middle school is of particular interest because it is a time when English learners’progress toward reclassification as English proficient may stagnate, just as they are entering a system of departmentalized courses that, in many cases, are tracked.
Funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the study mapped the EL programs and patterns of intervention used in middle school by 13 of California’s school districts with high populations of English language learners. Case studies were also developed about five schools that serve to contextualize the study findings and recommendations. The study, What Are We Doing to Middle School English Learners: Findings and Recommendations for Change from a Study of California EL Programs, is available in a Narrative Summary or as the full Research Report.
The goal of the first phase of the study is to identify eight promising programs: four widely used interventions and four less widely used but interesting, and perhaps unconventional, approaches. In the second phase of the study, QTEL will create eight case studies of these promising interventions, describing clear and specific practices that local educators can implement. Research indicates that rich depiction of actionable practices can inspire school change by allowing educators to see how “similar students” to their own are able to produce “different results.”