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EAL Research summaries

A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students' Long-Term Academic Achievement
A National Study of School Effectiveness for Language Minority Students is a long-term research project in the United States. This five-year research study (1996-2001) is the most recent overview of the types of U.S. school programs provided for these linguistically and culturally diverse students, especially focusing on English language learners’ (ELLs/LEPs) academic achievement in Grades K-12. The research includes findings from five large urban and suburban school districts in various regions of the U.S. where large numbers of language minority students attend state schools. Over 700,000 language minority student records were collected. This study documents the academic achievement of pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) over 4 to 12 years and across academic subject areas. Records examined included those of students who remained in long-term language support programs (5-6 years), those in short-term programs (1-3 years), and those who were taught in mainstream English-only classes.
Closing the gap for immigrant students
In many OECD countries, immigrant students have more restricted access to quality education, leave school earlier and have lower academic achievement than their native peers. That makes improving the education of immigrant students a policy priority.While there has been extensive research on the integration of migrants into labour markets, little work has been done internationally to examine the education outcomes of their children and explore education policy interventions to improve their performance. The OECD Reviews of Migrant Education were designed to help policy makers develop and implement migrant education policy that will make a difference.
Effective Reading Programs for English Language Learners and other language minority students
This review set out to summarise research on effective reading programmes for EAL pupils at primary level. The researchers were Alan Cheung, Success for All Foundation and Robert E Slavin, John Hopkins University. The review looked at available evidence on programmes designed to improve the reading achievement of EAL pupils aged 5-11. It focussed on studies that compared experimental and control groups on quantitative reading measures.
English as an Additional Language: An empirical study of stages of English proficiency
Research into “English as an Additional Language: An empirical study of stages of English proficiency” shows the time to acquire English Fluency in Lambeth schools and its implications for raising achievement. The research was carried out by Feyisa Demie, Head of Research and Statistics.
How do pupils progress during Key Stages 2 and 3?
How do Pupils Progress During Key Stages 2 and 3? presents statistical analysis of pupils’ progress in reading, writing and maths during years 3-9, based on a sample of termly teacher assessments for over 70,000 pupils in 10 Local Authorities. The main issues addressed are when most progress is made, who makes most progress, how termly progress adds up to expected threshold levels of achievement, and what progress through National Curriculum Key Stages 2 and 3 looks like empirically – the patterns and pathways actually followed by pupils.
Identifying components of attainment gaps
A 2010 study (DCSF RB 217) combined data collected in the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE) and matched data from the National Pupil Database (NPD) to investigate what contributed to gaps in Key Stage 4 attainment between pupils with different characteristics. In particular, it looks at gaps between attainment of pupils known to be eligible for Free School Meals (FSM pupils) and those not known to be eligible, and also the gaps relating to pupils from underperforming ethnic minority groups. The report also presented findings relating to pupils with different aspirations with respect to whether they wanted to stay in full time education once they had reached age16.
Integrating school-aged ESL learners into the mainstream curriculum
Pupils learning English as an additional language (EAL) in the mainstream classroom raise issues not only of language and pedagogy, but also of rights and entitlements, social integration and equality of access to public provision. The author addresses these multi-dimensional aspects of integrating EAL pupils through analysis of curricula and practices in three locations: England, California, and Australia.
Language Diversity and Attainment in English Secondary Schools
This 2012 report identifies and maps linguistic minority attainment in the secondary school population in England in 2011 by drawing on a combination of DfE published data on attainment by first language other than English; attainment by ethnicity and available local authority information on specific linguistic communities in select regions.
Language needs or special needs?
The focus in this review is on children who learn to read at school in their second or third language where that language is different from their first language or the language spoken in their home. The review is not mainly concerned with learning difficulties experienced by children who speak a variety of English at home that is different from that used in the classroom.
Language policies and practices for helping immigrants and second generation students succeed
The Transatlantic Task Force on Immigration and Integration, a distinguished international body, including Britain's Trevor Phillips, completed a research report in 2007 on ‘the various approaches that may help students’ second-language learning’ across international settings. The starting point for their work was evidence from international data that show ’15-year-old immigrant students who do not speak the language of instruction at home are, on average, one year behind non-immigrant students’ and the acknowledgement that this gap acts as a barrier to such students’ educational success and access to the labour market.
Minority Ethnic Pupils in Mainly White Schools
This stimulating research report funded by the DfES was published in 2002. The research conducted by Tony Cline, Guida de Abreu, Cornelius Fihosy, Hilary Gray, Hannah Lambert and Jo Neale from the University of Luton investigated the experiences of minority ethnic pupils in mainly white schools and looked at the issues that affect "isolated" minority ethnic pupils in areas where only 4% to 6% of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds.
More Advanced Learners of EAL in Secondary Schools and Colleges
In the context of concerns about the progress and achievement of advanced learners of English as an additional language, OfSTED carried out an inspection in the Spring of 2002 to identify good practice in Key Stage 4 and post-16 provision which took account of the continuing need of many bilingual students for language support in their work.
National Audit of EAL training and development provision
In 2008, the TDA funded NALDIC to undertake a national audit of training to inform the 5 year National EAL Strategy. This audit, which was published in 2009, included information about over 200 courses involving over 11,000 staff found an inconsistent picture. The content of much training was induction or entry level which might reasonably be expected to form part of every teachers’ initial teacher education. There was very limited provision for EAL early professional development and some evidence that the absence of nationally agreed content areas had led to CPD and vocational provision that is reactive rather than progressive, and to development issues being displaced by short term foci.
Non-Native Speakers Of English In The Classroom: What are the Effects on Pupil performance
This 2012 research analyses a census of all children in schools in England (the National Pupil Database) to explore the association between the proportion of non-native English speakers in a year group and the educational attainment of native English speakers at the end of primary school. The study finds that an increased presence of children who do not speak English as their first language is not detrimental to the educational attainment of native English speakers.
Pulling the threads together
This 2012 paper by Clare Wardman reports on a small qualitative study conducted in the north of England during summer 2011, which sought to analyse current practice in UK primary schools alongside the existing research findings, focusing on the linguistic and sociocultural aspects of being a bilingual learner.
The impact of supplementary schools on pupils’ attainment
This study focused on supplementary schools in England. It aimed to map out the provision of education in these schools, and to investigate the contribution of supplementary schools to the education sector. It also aimed to scope the theoretical feasibility of conducting a quantitative study examining the impact of supplementary schools on attainment. The research included: a literature review; survey responses from 301 supplementary schools; and case studies conducted in 12 supplementary schools.
Writing in English as an Additional Language at KS4 and post-16
This study was commissioned by OfSTED as part of a study of support for KS4 and post-16 EAL learners.The research study investigated the writing skills of more advanced learners of English at KS4 and post-16. Pupils targeted had been in the country for five years or more and were deemed to be underachieving. Through analysing the features of English that caused difficulty for bilingual pupils, the study aimed to provide information that would enable teachers to address these issues in their teaching. Common weaknesses identified included the quality of content, sentence structure, and word level grammar as well as difficulties in organising and writing extended texts and writing in a range of genres.