Optimizing Educational Outcomes for English Language Learners*
Grantee University of Houston (UH) in collaboration with the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), the University of Miami, and the University of Texas–Austin (UT-A)
Key Staff: David Francis (UH), Diane August (CAL), Maria Carlo (UM), Sharon Vaughn (UT-A)
- Do children in enhanced (research-based) versions (Treatment group) of structured English immersion and transitional bilingual education programs outperform children in typical, existing programs (Control group)?
- What are the outcomes in English oracy and literacy, and Spanish language development for children in enhanced structured English immersion programs compared to those outcomes for children in enhanced transitional bilingual education?
- How do the growth rates of students in the enhanced structured English immersion program compare to the growth rates of students in the enhanced transitional bilingual education program?
In year one, 1,271 Kindergarten students and 55 teachers from 14 public schools in Brownsville, Texas, participated in the study. In year two, 1,184 grade one students and 65 teachers from 13 public schools in Brownsville participated in the study. In year three, 1,158 Grade two students and 62 teachers from 13 public schools in Brownsville participated in the study. In year four, 744 Grade three students and 41 teachers from 11 public schools in Brownsville participated in the study. Within each school, teachers were randomly assigned to either the control or treatment condition and to either transitional bilingual education or English immersion. Students were assigned to teachers by school personnel using standard practice, independent of teacher assignments. Students were assessed in English and in Spanish and were followed from kindergarten to grade 3.
Cost/Duration: $7,990,490 over 6 years (October 1, 2003–September 30, 2009)
Current Status: (February 2011)
This project is complete. The final project progress report has been received.
- Results were mixed in that evidence of effects of the enhanced models were not uniform across outcome domains, grades, language of instruction models, and student type (typical versus Tier 2).
- For typical students, there was no effect of the enhanced models for the English outcomes. However, there was a positive effect of the enhanced models on both the Basic Reading skills and the Broad Reading skills subtests (but not on oral language) in Spanish across all grades.
- For Tier 2 students, there was no effect of the enhanced models on either the Basic Reading skills or Broad Reading skills subtests in English, although there was a positive effect of the enhanced SEI model (but not the TBE model) on English oral language in Grade 1 (but not in kindergarten or grade 2).
- In kindergarten, Tier 2 students in enhanced TBE classrooms did better than Tier 2 students in the control TBE classrooms on oral language in Spanish. However, in all other grades, and in kindergarten for students in SEI classrooms, there was no difference between treatment and control. There was a positive effect of the enhanced models on Basic Reading skills in Spanish for Tier 2 students in grade 2 (but not in grade 1). There was a positive effect of the enhanced models on Broad Reading skills in Spanish for Tier 2 students across grades.
* This grant was awarded under the English Language Acquisition Evaluation Program, CFDA 84.305P