Friday, March 16, 2012

Shorter-Term Programs May Benefit ELLs, Study Says

Education Daily (3/16, Wolfe) reports that according to a Texas study conducted by the Migration Policy Institute, "ELL students who transition from English as a Second Language or bilingual education programs to English-only classes within three years may perform better academically than ELLs who stay in ESL or bilingual programs for five years or more. ... 'The weaker academic performance evidenced by long-term ELLs raises important questions on how to address their literacy and linguistic needs,' said Michael Fix, the senior vice president of MPI. 'However, with much still unknown about the reasons why students remain in ELL status for many years, it would not be prudent to conclude that language acquisition instruction should be time-limited.'" The piece describes how shifting demographics will continue to make the issue an important one, and describes the Obama Administration's efforts to promote a state-generated common ELL policy.

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