Educating English Language Learners: A Synthesis of Research Evidence

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Cambridge University Press, Jan 16, 2006 - Psychology
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The book provides a review of scientific research on the learning outcomes of students with limited or no proficiency in English in U.S. schools. Research on students in kindergarten to grade 12 is reviewed. The primary chapters of the book focus on these students' acquisition of oral language skills in English, their development of literacy (reading & writing) skills in English, instructional issues in teaching literacy, and achievement in academic domains (i.e., mathematics, science, and reading). The reviews and analyses of the research are relatively technical with a focus on research quality, design characteristics, and statistical analyses. The book provides a set of summary tables that give details about each study, including full references, characteristics of the students in the research, assessment tools and procedures, and results. A concluding chapter summarizes the major issues discussed and makes recommendations about particular areas that need further research.

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Page v - One congressionally mandated study reported that these students receive lower grades, are judged by their teachers to have lower academic abilities, and score below their classmates on standardized tests of reading and mathematics (Moss & Puma, 1995).

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About the author (2006)

Fred Genesee has conducted extensive research on second language education, including foreign language immersion programs for majority language students and bilingual education for minority language students. His research on bilingual acquisition focuses on the syntactic and communicative development of bilingual children with typical and impaired patterns of acquisition and addresses issues related to the capacity of the language faculty during the period of primary language development.

Kathryn Lindholm-Leary is Professor of Child and Adolescent Development at San Jose State University where she has taught for 17 years. Her research interests focus on understanding the cognitive, language, psychosocial, and societal factors that influence student achievement, with a particular emphasis on culturally and linguistically diverse students. Kathryn has worked with dual language education programs for the past 20 years and during that time has evaluated over 30 programs and helped to establish programs in over 50 school districts in 10 states.

William M. Saunders, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Fellow at CSU, Long Beach, UCLA, and LessonLab. He currently directs LessonLab's school-based programs for improving teaching, learning, and schooling. He has directed several research programs including longitudinal studies of the literacy development English learners, clinic trials of discrete instructional components, and prospective studies of school improvement. Formerly a high school teacher and Director of the Writing Project at the University of Southern California, Saunders has conducted school improvement and professional development programs in the Southern California region for the past twenty years. He is the author of numerous papers and chapters on literacy instruction, school change, assessment, and English language learners.

Donna Christian is President of the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) in Washington, DC. She has worked with CAL since 1974, focusing on the role of language in education, including issues of second language learning and dialect diversity. Among her activities, she directs a program on two-way bilingual immersion, including a study for the National Center for Research on Education, Diversity & Excellence (CREDE), funded by the U.S. Department of Education. She is also a senior advisor to the Heritage Languages Initiative, the Biliteracy Research Program, and the National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children and Youth.

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