of Children and Youth
Committee on Fostering School Success for English Learners:
Toward New Directions in Policy, Practice, and Research
Ruby Takanishi and Suzanne Le Menestrel, Editors
Board on Children, Youth, and Families
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Health and Medicine Division
A Consensus Study Report of
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This study was supported by contracts between the National Academy of Sciences and the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHSP233201400020B, Order No. HHSP23337020); the Foundation for Child Development (NAS-20-13D); the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHSH250200976014I, Order No. HHSH25034022T); the Heising-Simons Foundation (2014-158); the McKnight Foundation (14-596); and the U.S. Department of Education (HHSP233201400020B, Order No. HHSP23337018). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
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Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24677
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2017). Promoting the Educational Success of Children and Youth Learning English: Promising Futures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/24677.
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COMMITTEE ON FOSTERING SCHOOL SUCCESS FOR ENGLISH LEARNERS: TOWARD NEW DIRECTIONS IN POLICY, PRACTICE, AND RESEARCH
RUBY TAKANISHI (Chair), Education Policy Division, New America
ALFREDO ARTILES, Graduate College, Arizona State University
DIANE L. AUGUST, Center for English Learners, American Institutes for Research
XAVIER BOTANA, Portland Public Schools, Maine
DYLAN CONGER, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration, George Washington University
RICHARD P. DURÁN, Gervitz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara
LINDA M. ESPINOSA, University of Missouri, Columbia (emeritus)
EUGENE E. GARCIA, Arizona State University (emeritus)
FRED GENESEE, Department of Psychology, McGill University (emeritus)
KENJI HAKUTA, Stanford University (emeritus)
ARTURO HERNANDEZ, Department of Psychology, University of Houston
BOBBI CIRIZA HOUTCHENS, Retired Teacher/Consultant
JEFF MacSWAN, Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park
HARRIETT ROMO, Department of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio
MARIA SERA, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
CATHERINE S. TAMIS-LEMONDA, Department of Applied Psychology, New York University
KEVIN J. A. THOMAS, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Pennsylvania State University
CLAUDIO O. TOPPELBERG, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Harvard Medical School
LILY WONG-FILLMORE, University of California, Berkeley (emeritus)
SUZANNE LE MENESTREL, Study Director
FRANCIS AMANKWAH,1 Research Associate
PAMELLA ATAYI, Program Coordinator
ANNALEE GONZALES,2 Senior Program Assistant
REBEKAH HUTTON, Associate Program Officer
SHEILA MOATS,2 Program Officer
AMY STEPHENS, Program Officer
1 Through October 2015.
2 Through July 2016.
BOARD ON CHILDREN, YOUTH, AND FAMILIES
ANGELA DIAZ (Chair), Departments of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
SHARI BARKIN, Department of Pediatrics, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt University
THOMAS F. BOAT, Academic Health Center, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati
W. THOMAS BOYCE, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
DAVID A. BRENT, Western Psychiatric Institute and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
DAVID V.B. BRITT, Retired CEO, Sesame Workshop
DEBBIE I. CHANG, Nemours Health and Prevention Services
PATRICK H. DeLEON, F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
ELENA FUENTES-AFFLICK, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, and Chief of Pediatrics, San Francisco General Hospital
EUGENE E. GARCIA, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers’ College, Arizona State University
J. DAVID HAWKINS, School of Social Work, University of Washington
JEFFREY W. HUTCHINSON, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
JACQUELINE JONES, Foundation for Child Development
ANN S. MASTEN, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota
VELMA McBRIDE MURRY, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University
BRUCE S. McEWEN, Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology, The Rockefeller University
MARTIN J. SEPULVEDA, (retired) Research Division, IBM Corporation
NATACHA BLAIN,1 Director
KIMBER BOGARD,2 Director
BRIDGET KELLY,3 Acting Director
1 From December 2015.
2 Through July 2015.
3 From July-December 2015.
BOARD ON SCIENCE EDUCATION
ADAM GAMORAN (Chair), William T. Grant Foundation
MELANIE COOPER, Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University
RODOLFO DIRZO, Department of Biology, Stanford University
MATTHEW KREHBIEL, Achieve, Inc.
MICHAEL LACH, Urban Education Institute, University of Chicago
LYNN LIBEN, Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University
CATHY MANDUCA, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College
JOHN MATHER, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
BRIAN REISER, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
MARSHALL “MIKE” SMITH, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
ROBERTA TANNER, Retired Physics Teacher, Thompson School District, Loveland, Colorado
SUZANNE WILSON, Neag School of Education, Michigan State University
HEIDI SCHWEINGRUBER, Director
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The committee and project staff express our deep gratitude to all who generously contributed their time and expertise to inform the development of this report.
To begin, we thank the sponsors of this study for their support. The committee’s work was funded by the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Foundation for Child Development, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. Many individuals volunteered significant time and effort to address and educate committee members during our public information meetings. Their willingness to share their perspectives and experiences was essential to the committee’s work. We also thank the many other stakeholders who shared information with the committee over the course of the study.
The committee also expresses our sincere appreciation for the opportunity to work with the dedicated members of the staff of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on this important project. We are thankful to the project staff: Francis Amankwah, Sarah Blankenship, Marthe Folivi, Annalee Gonzales, Rebekah Hutton, Suzanne Le Menestrel, Sheila Moats, Rebecca Nebel, Heidi Schweingruber, Amy Stephens, and Tina Tran. The committee is also grateful to Lisa Alston, Pamella Atayi, Faye Hillman, and Stacey Smit for their administrative and financial assistance on this project. We are also thankful for the administrative support of Alisa Decatur. The committee gratefully acknowledges
Natacha Blain, Kimber Bogard, and Bridget Kelly of the Board on Children, Youth, and Families; Robert Hauser, former executive director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Mary Ellen O’Connell, executive director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Dr. Victor Dzau, president of the National Academy of Medicine; and Clyde Behney, executive director of the Health and Medicine Division, for their guidance throughout this important study. The committee thanks the staff of the Office of Reports and Communication of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education: Eugenia Grohman, Viola Horek, Patricia L. Morison, Kirsten Sampson Snyder, Douglas Sprunger, and Yvonne Wise. We also wish to thank Daniel Bearss and Rebecca Morgan for their outstanding research and fact-checking assistance.
We are grateful to Lauren Tobias of Maven Messaging & Communications for her thoughtful work as the communications consultant for this study. We thank Beatriz Arias, Julie Esparza-Brown, Kathy Lindholm-Leary, Amy Markos, Soyoung Park, and Marlene Zepeda for their valuable commissioned papers, which informed our report. We are appreciative of Rona Briere for the diligent and thorough editorial assistance she provided in preparing this report.
This Consensus Study Report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets the institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We wish to thank the following individuals for their thoughtful reviews of this report: Maria S. Carlo, Department of Teaching and Learning, University of Miami; Donna Christian, Center for Applied Linguistics; James Cummins, Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Ontario; Claude N. Goldenberg, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University; Magdalena Ruz Gonzalez, Multilingual Academic Support, Curriculum and Instructional Services, Los Angeles County Office of Education; Carol Scheffner Hammer, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Teachers College, Columbia University; Patricia K. Kuhl, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington; Laurie Olsen, Sobrato Early Academic Language, Sobrato Family Foundation; Mariela M. Páez, The Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch School of Education, Boston College; Laida Restrepo, School of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University; Gillian Stevens, Department of Sociology and Population Research Laboratory, University of Alberta; and
Gabriela Uro, English Language Learner Policy and Research, Council of the Great City Schools.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by P. David Pearson, Language and Literacy and Cognition and Development, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, and Douglas S. Massey, Department of Sociology and Public Affairs, Princeton University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.
Key Challenges for Policy and Practice
Overview of Policies Governing the Education of English Learners, 1965-2015
Current Policies for Dual Language Learners
Current Policies for English Learners K-12
3 The Demography of the English Learner Population
The Origins of English Learners
The Geographic Distribution of English Learners
Socioeconomic Characteristics and Status of English Learners
English Proficiency Across Immigrant Generations
4 Dual Language Learners: Capacities and Influences on Language Development
The Universal Capacity for Dual Language Learning
Influences on Dual Language Learning
5 Promising and Effective Early Care and Education Practices and Home Visiting Programs for Dual Language Learners
Developmental Characteristics of Dual Language Learners
Research on Effective Program Models and Instructional Strategies for Dual Language Learners
6 The Development of English Language Proficiency in Grades K-12
Factors That Influence Reclassification Rates Among English Learners in Grades K-12
Retention and Loss of the Home Language
Cross-Linguistic Aspects of Language Development in English Learners
7 Programs for English Learners in Grades Pre-K to 12
Connecting Effective Programs for Dual Language Learners Birth to Age 5 with English Learners in Pre-K to 12
English-Only and Bilingual Approaches to Instruction
The Development of Oral Language Proficiency in English Learners in Grades K-12
District-Wide Practices Related to the Educational Progress of English Learners
Family Engagement in English Learners’ Education
8 Promising and Effective Practices for English Learners in Grades Pre-K to 12
Promising and Effective Practices for Educating English Learners in Grades Pre-K to 5
Promising and Effective Practices for Educating English Learners in Grades 6-8 (Middle School)
Promising and Effective Practices for Educating English Learners in Grades 9-12
9 Promising and Effective Practices for Specific Populations of English Learners Grades Pre-K to 12
Gifted and Talented English Learners
English Learners Living on Tribal Lands
10 Dual Language Learners and English Learners with Disabilities
Overview of Five Major Disability Categories in DLLs/ELs
Overview of Relevant Policy Issues
Overview of Identification and Evaluation Practices
Research on Identification, Instruction, and Assessment for DLLs/ELs with Disabilities
Annex 10-1: A Case History: An Illustration of the Complexities of Assessment in ELs
11 Promising and Effective Practices in Assessment of Dual Language Learners’ and English Learners’ Educational Progress
Assessment of Dual Language Learners
Assessment of English Learners
12 Building the Workforce to Educate English Learners
State Certification Requirements
Professionals Providing Support Services
13 Recommendations for Policy, Practice, and Research
A Biosketches of Committee Members and Project Staff
B State Requirements for Teacher Certification
C Context of Educating English Learners: English Learners and Title III Teacher Population
Boxes, Figures, and Tables
1-1Key Terminology in This Report
1-3Related Publications of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
2-1The Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act of 1975 and the Native American Languages Preservation Act of 1990
2-2States’ Goals Regarding Bilingual Education Programs
4-1Effects of Early Exposure on the Brain of Dual Language Learners
4-2Neural Foundations for Dual Language Learning
4-3Effects of Parents’ Generational and Socioeconomic Status
5-1Promising Program for Low-Income Spanish-Speaking Families
5-2Populations Served by the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program
5-3Common Features of High-Quality Preschool Programs
5-5Instructional Strategies for Monolingual Teachers That Support DLLs’ English Language Development and L1 Maintenance
6-1Example of Academic Language
7-1Sobrato Early Academic Literacy (SEAL) Program
7-2Improving the Design of Studies of Language of Instruction
7-3Profile of a K-12 Dual Language School
7-4The Role of the Family in Supporting Learning English in Middle and High Schools
8-1How Middle School Contexts Matter for English Learners
8-2Characteristics and Design Elements of High Schools in the Schools to Learn from Study
8-3Example of the Incorporation of Language and Literacy Goals into Content Instruction
8-4An Example of the Integration of Language Instruction into Content Area Teaching
9-1Why Language Revitalization Is Critical
9-2Rough Rock Community School: A Language Revitalization Program Exemplar
10-1Prevalence of Disabilities and Comorbidities in DLLs/ELs
10-3Variation in Placement Patterns at the National and State Levels by Disability Category and Year and the Heterogeneity of the Population
10-4Potential Influences on Proper Identification of ELs with Disabilities
10-5The Acquisition of English and Reclassification of ELs with Disabilities
10-6Importance of Family Involvement in Evaluating DLLs/ELs with Disabilities
10-7Analyzing and Utilizing the Results of the Disability Evaluation
10-8Overview of Response to Intervention (RTI)
10-9Curriculum-Based Measures (CBMs)
10-10Considerations for Response to Intervention (RTI) Models That Include ELs
10-11Key Findings from Reading Intervention Studies in English Learners
11-12015 Guidelines of the Council of Chief State School Officers for EL Reclassification
13-1Research Needed to Address Gaps in Knowledge About DLLs/ELs
3-1Region of origin of new immigrants to the United States, 2013
3-2Proportions of the U.S. population speaking only English versus a language other than English, 1980 and 2010
3-3Immigrant generation of English learners (ages 5-18 and enrolled in school), 2008-2012
3-4States with large and rapidly growing populations of English learners (ELs)
3-5Percentage of children in families at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty line
3-6Percentage of children with parents who speak English less than “very well”
3-7Top 10 languages spoken by English learners (ages 5-18 and enrolled in school), 2008-2012
11-1Fitted cumulative probability of reclassification for students entering Los Angeles Unified School District as ELs in kindergarten, by initial level of academic home language proficiency and initial academic English proficiency
3-1Origin Countries of Foreign-Born Children Who Are English Learners (ELs)
3-2States Where the Percentage Change in the Hispanic Population Was Greater Than 100 Percent from 2000 to 2012
3-3Percentage Distribution of ELs and Non-ELs by Race/Ethnicity and Family Income Quintile
3-4Parental Educational Distributions of ELs and Non-ELs, by Race/Ethnicity
3-5Family Structures of ELs and Non-ELs, by Race/Ethnicity
3-6Distribution of Children Who Speak English Less Than Very Well, by Race/Ethnicity and Generation
5-1Formal Early Care and Education Programs
7-1Approaches to Teaching English Learners (ELs) in Prekindergarten Through Grade 12
10-1Specific Disability Categories and Some Relevant Issues for DLLs/ELs
10-2Similarities in Behaviors Associated with Learning Disabilities and Second Language Acquisition
12-1Teacher Certification: 10 States with the Highest Percentages of ELs in 2013-2014
12-2ELs and Teachers and Teacher Aides with Formal Qualifications to Teach Them, States with the Fastest-Growing Populations of ELs, 2011-2012
12-3Summary of the Literature Concerning the Qualities, Knowledge, and Skills All Teachers Need to Teach ELs Effectively