Our Studies

Researchers from four partner institutions will work collaboratively to address two lines of inquiry. The first asks: What policies, practices, and courses are associated with English Learners’ access to the general curriculum? Two studies address this question:

  • Study 1, which describes coursetaking patterns in four states and explores how content-area course access is related to other malleable factors, and

  • Study 2, which outlines models of co-teaching across the country and describes their implementation in diverse settings.

     

The Center’s second line of inquiry asks: How can curriculum resources strengthen the learning opportunities and experiences of both teachers and English Learners as they engage in disciplinary practices? Two studies address this question:

  • Study 3, which iteratively develops a twelve-week ELA intervention and estimates its impact on student educational outcomes, and

  • Study 4, which iteratively develops a three-week math summer bridge course and estimates its impact on student educational outcomes.

Study #1

Coursetaking for Secondary English Learners

 

Existing research strongly suggests a link between English Learners’ coursetaking patterns in high school and their academic achievement and graduation outcomes. This study will examine the relationship between English Learners’ coursetaking patterns in four states and explore how malleable factors such as reclassification policies, class composition, counselor caseload, and teacher characteristics at the school level can increase secondary English Learners’ course access and schooling outcomes. As a supplemental study, an exploratory feature analysis of the content of the English language proficiency assessment used in one state will identify underlying constructs in the assessment that may predict overall assessment scores and predict coursetaking outcomes.

Study #2

Co-Teaching and Collaboration Models Serving Secondary English Learners

 

Across the nation, “co-teaching” and related forms of teacher collaboration have become increasingly common models used to provide integrated content-area and language instruction for English Learners. While various co-teaching and collaboration models have become better defined and implemented, the full extent of these practices—their prevalence, variations, and effectiveness—is not known. This study will document how co-teaching and collaboration are implemented in several educational contexts and will assess challenges and successes that districts and schools face when implementing this model.

Study #3

Iterative Development of Educative English Language Arts Curriculum Materials

 

In this study, researchers will iteratively develop, test, and refine four 8th grade English Language Arts units, consisting of three lessons each, and estimate their impact on English Learners’ educational outcomes, especially students who have been in the English Learner category for six years or more. An important feature of the curriculum is its educative nature as it will help develop both student and teacher expertise and autonomy. Consequently, this study will investigate the curriculum’s impact on teachers’ ability to effectively challenge and support English Learners.

Study #4

Iterative Development of Educative Math Curriculum Materials

 

In this study, researchers will iteratively develop, test, and refine a three-week math summer bridge program for rising ninth graders. The curriculum will be centered on cross-cutting concepts of mathematics that English Learners will benefit from exploring through their high school careers. The study will estimate the curriculum’s impact on English Learners’ math achievement.

The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305C200008 to WestEd. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

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