Quality of instruction trumps language in reading programs for elementary-age ELLs

January 15, 2013

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2013─New research synthesizes studies of English reading outcomes for Spanish-dominant English language learners (ELLs) in elementary schools. The review, Effective Reading Programs for Spanish-dominant English Language Learners (ELLs) in the Elementary Grades: A Synthesis of Research, appears in the December issue of Review of Educational Research, a journal of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Conducted by Alan C. K. Cheung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Robert E. Slavin, Johns Hopkins University and the University of York, the research focuses on of instruction and on reading approaches for ELLs. Using the language of instruction as the constant, the researchers identified 13 applicable studies and determined that outcomes for elementary-aged children taught in Spanish and transitioned to English are no different from outcomes for those taught only in English.

Multiple reading interventions proved effective. "What is in common across the most promising interventions is their use of extensive professional development, coaching, and cooperative learning," say the researchers. "The findings support a conclusion increasingly being made by researchers and policymakers concerned with optimal outcomes for ELLs and other language minority students: Quality of instruction is more important than language of instruction."

Explore further: Professional Development Key to Improving Math Achievement

More information: Cheung, Alan C. K., and R.E. Slavin (2012). Effective Reading Programs for Spanish-dominant English Language Learners (ELLs) in the Elementary Grades: A Synthesis of Research, Review of Educational Research, December 2012, Vol. 82, No. 4, pp. 351-395.

Related Stories

Professional Development Key to Improving Math Achievement

December 4, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Teachers have a greater impact than new textbooks or computers when it comes to raising math scores, according to a comprehensive research review by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center ...

Exposure to two languages carries far-reaching benefits

May 19, 2009

People who can speak two languages are more adept at learning a new foreign language than their monolingual counterparts, according to research conducted at Northwestern University. And their bilingual advantage persists ...

For English learners, reading isn't always

April 11, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- An influential model for teaching reading and comprehension to English learners doesn’t work well for Cantonese-speaking children, according to new research from the University of California, Davis, ...

English language ads better reach Latino audience

August 19, 2011

English language ads have a greater impact in mobilizing Latino voters than Spanish language ads, according to a study recently published in American Political Research, a SAGE journal.

Recommended for you

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.