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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps

A WORKSHOP SUMMARY

Melissa Welch-Ross, Rapporteur

Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning: Implications for Closing the Achievement Gap

Center for Education

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by Contract No 2008-2669 between the National Academy of Sciences and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

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Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2010). Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. M. Welch-Ross, Rapporteur. Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning: Implications for Closing the Achievement Gap. Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


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The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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COMMITTEE ON THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN SCHOOL LEARNING: IMPLICATIONS FOR CLOSING THE ACHIEVEMENT GAP

Kenji Hakuta (Chair),

Department of Education, Stanford University

Donna Christian,

Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC

Jill de Villiers,

Psychology and Philosophy Departments, Smith College

Fred Genesee,

Psychology Department, McGill University, Montreal

Claude Goldenberg,

Department of Education, Stanford University

William Labov,

Linguistics Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania

Lynne Vernon-Feagans,

Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Melissa Welch-Ross, Senior Program Officer and Rapporteur

Mary Ann Kasper, Senior Program Assistant

Dorothy Majewski, Administrative Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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Acknowledgments

This report is a summary of the discussion at a workshop convened by the National Research Council on October 15-16, 2009, at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The workshop was funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the National Research Council is grateful for the interest in and commitment to work on this topic.

The workshop was planned by the Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning: Implications for Closing the Achievement Gap. The committee members identified presenters, organized the agenda, made presentations, and facilitated discussion; they did not participate in the writing of this report. The two-day workshop, summarized here reflects their diligent efforts in planning the workshop, the excellent presentations at the workshop, and the insightful comments of the many workshop participants. We also thank the many experts who participated in the workshop as presenters, panelists, paper authors, and discussants; their names appear in the agenda in an appendix (see Appendix A). Staff members Viola Horek, Mary Ann Kasper, and Dorothy Majewski ably provided administrative support for the committee. We also thank Catherine Freeman who served as staff director in the initial stages of the project.

The summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its

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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Alison Bailey, Psychological Studies in Education Division, Department of Education, University of California, Los Angeles; Robert Bayley, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Davis; Joanne Carlisle, School of Education, University of Michigan; Claude Goldenberg, School of Education, Stanford University; Erika Hoff, Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University; Susan H. Landry, Children’s Learning Institute, Texas Medical Center, Houston, Texas; Lourdes Ortega, Department of Second Language Studies, University of Hawaii at M-anoa; and Robin Scarcella, Program in Academic English and ESL, University of California, Irvine.

Although the reviewers provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by P. David Pearson, Graduate School of Education, University of California at Berkeley. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the author and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2010. Language Diversity, School Learning, and Closing Achievement Gaps: A Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12907.
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The Workshop on the Role of Language in School Learning: Implications for Closing the Achievement Gap was held to explore three questions: What is known about the conditions that affect language development? What are the effects of early language development on school achievement? What instructional approaches help students meet school demands for language and reading comprehension? Of particular interest was the degree to which group differences in school achievement might be attributed to language differences, and whether language-related instruction might help to close gaps in achievement by helping students cope with language-intensive subject matter especially after the 3rd grade.

The workshop provided a forum for researchers and practitioners to review and discuss relevant research findings from varied perspectives. The disciplines and professions represented included: language development, child development, cognitive psychology, linguistics, reading, educationally disadvantaged student populations, literacy in content areas (math, science, social studies), and teacher education. The aim of the meeting was not to reach consensus or provide recommendations, but rather to offer expert insight into the issues that surround the study of language, academic learning, and achievement gaps, and to gather varied viewpoints on what available research findings might imply for future research and practice. This book summarizes and synthesizes two days of workshop presentations and discussion.

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