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1—
Overview

A large and growing segment of the population of students in the United States comes from homes where English is not the primary language spoken. Many of these students live in poverty, their families often do not have a deep history of formal education, and many are not yet proficient in English. At the same time, schools, and more generally the educational system, are not adequately prepared to respond to the rapidly changing student demographics. Such conditions combine and probably interact to produce educational outcomes that demand attention. Consider the following statistics:

Among persons between the ages of 16 and 24 in 1989, 42 percent of those who reported difficulty with English had dropped out of high school, compared with 10.5 percent of those who spoke only English (McArthur, 1993).

In 1992, in schools with high concentrations of poverty, almost 24 percent of third grade students with limited English proficiency had repeated a grade, compared with an overall grade retention rate of 15 percent (Moss and Puma, 1995).

During the 1991-1992 school year, 9 percent of the students classified as limited-English-proficient were assigned to grade levels at least 2 years below age-grade norms (Fleischman and Hopstock, 1993).

The educational predicament of students of limited English proficiency has been a focus of policymakers and the courts for almost 30 years. According to federal law, and under many state laws, if students cannot participate meaningfully and equitably in the English-only school environment by virtue of their



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Page 13 1— Overview A large and growing segment of the population of students in the United States comes from homes where English is not the primary language spoken. Many of these students live in poverty, their families often do not have a deep history of formal education, and many are not yet proficient in English. At the same time, schools, and more generally the educational system, are not adequately prepared to respond to the rapidly changing student demographics. Such conditions combine and probably interact to produce educational outcomes that demand attention. Consider the following statistics: • Among persons between the ages of 16 and 24 in 1989, 42 percent of those who reported difficulty with English had dropped out of high school, compared with 10.5 percent of those who spoke only English (McArthur, 1993). • In 1992, in schools with high concentrations of poverty, almost 24 percent of third grade students with limited English proficiency had repeated a grade, compared with an overall grade retention rate of 15 percent (Moss and Puma, 1995). • During the 1991-1992 school year, 9 percent of the students classified as limited-English-proficient were assigned to grade levels at least 2 years below age-grade norms (Fleischman and Hopstock, 1993). The educational predicament of students of limited English proficiency has been a focus of policymakers and the courts for almost 30 years. According to federal law, and under many state laws, if students cannot participate meaningfully and equitably in the English-only school environment by virtue of their

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Page 14 limited proficiency in English, they are eligible for special services. Programs to serve the needs of these students vary considerably. In some cases, students receive some proportion of their instruction in their native language. In others, they receive instruction exclusively through the medium of English, but the English is simplified, and the instructional context is enriched to make the content more understandable. In still others, the special help comprises instruction in English as a second language (ESL), with a primary focus on the development of English-language skills, rather than on the academic content areas. Determining the relative efficacy of this range of approaches has been the principal focus of the educational policy debate. But the debate has also been shaped significantly by political factors that go beyond educational techniques. The modern roots of this debate can be traced to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and federal involvement in education at this time. As Epstein (1977) pointed out early in the debate, the question of bilingual education, especially those programs that espouse the development and maintenance of the ethnic language, can be framed in terms of whether to pursue ''affirmative ethnicity" as an educational policy. The debate has also become an instantiation of related politically volatile issues, such as whether English should be constitutionally declared the official language of the United States (Crawford 1992), whether multiculturalism should be preserved (Graff, 1992; Hu-DeHart, 1995; Schlesinger, 1991), and whether national immigration policy needs to be changed (Brimelow, 1995). When ably used by politicians who wish to define themselves to voters or by the media when they wish to create controversy, the educational debate over how best to teach language-minority students is overwhelmed by these controversies. Purpose Of This Report The political issues outlined above cannot really be addressed by research; facts do not play a major role in these judgments. However, science and research are influenced by politics—from the research questions asked to the conduct of the studies and the way results are interpreted. Moreover, research in any highly controversial area invites suspicion and selective scrutiny from advocates of particular positions and must meet stringent demands to be credible and broadly accepted. The purpose of this report is to contribute to the construction of such a knowledge base in the education of students who are not fully English proficient by reviewing the state of knowledge and identifying a research agenda that will address the key knowledge gaps. We have endeavored to move beyond the narrow focus on language of instruction that has dominated the education and policy discussions.

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Page 15 Charge To The Committee The formal charge to the Committee on Developing a Research Agenda on the Education of Limited English Proficient and Bilingual Students was as follows: • Review what is known about the linguistic, cognitive, and social processes involved in the education of English-language learners (i.e., those who are not yet proficient in English but are in the process of second-language acquisition, as well as those who have become bilingual through the acquisition of English). As a result of this review, the committee will identify issues that are worthy of more focused attention. • Review the methodologies traditionally used in this area, giving attention to the strengths and weaknesses of various research traditions. • Make recommendations regarding research priorities that have promise for significantly advancing this field; the infrastructure that supports work in this area, including roles for public and private funders and academic institutions; human resource issues as they concern the supply and diversity of scientists and educational personnel who work in this area; and the use of scientific evidence to inform and improve policy and practice related to the education of English-language learners. Terminology There are many labels for the students and programs under consideration in this report. The most commonly used term to refer to students who come from language backgrounds other than English and whose English proficiency is not yet developed to the point where they can profit fully from English-only instruction is limited-English-proficient (LEP). While we acknowledge the reality that this term has established itself in many critical areas, including national and state data collection efforts, federal and state education legislation, and court cases involving the rights of these students, we have elected to use the term proposed by Rivera (1994)—English-language learners. The committee feels that the latter is a positive term, whereas the former assigns a negative label. We use the term "LEP" when quoting another source, when citing such things as legal requirements, and when referring to issues rather than to children. Moreover, we have chosen to forego the editorially convenient practice of reducing English-language learners to an acronym. Two other terms appear frequently in this report: • Bilingual students/programs/education—Many of the programs intended to serve the needs of English-language learners use the students' native language as they acquire English. Thus the term bilingual is often used to refer to programs

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Page 16   for these students generally. Yet this is really a misnomer for programs aimed at English-language learners, for two reasons: (1) the students are learning English and thus by definition are not yet bilingual, and (2) bilingualism is not the goal of these programs, but mainstreaming of the student into English-only programs. We therefore use the term bilingual to refer to an individual with a language background other than English who has developed proficiency in his or her primary language and enough proficiency in English not to be disadvantaged in an English-only school environment. We define bilingual programs in the background section later in this chapter. • Language-minority students—This term refers to individuals from homes where a language other than English is actively used, who therefore have had an opportunity to develop some level of proficiency in a language other than English. A language minority student may be of limited English proficiency, bilingual, or essentially monolingual in English. Scope Of The Report The primary focus of this report is on programs for English-language learners who are in the process of becoming proficient in English. The bulk of the advocacy, programmatic, and research emphasis has been on these students, rather than bilingual students, even though the potential for the development of bilingualism among language-minority students has always been acknowledged in the Bilingual Education Act. For example, in its most recent reauthorization, the act is explicit about the instrumental value of bilingualism: "As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and as international communication becomes a daily occurrence in government, business, commerce, and family life, multilingual skills constitute an important national resource which deserves protection and development" (Improving America's Schools Act, 1994, Section 7102(a)(10)). Despite such lofty aspirations, the primary focus of Title VII programs, as well as the relevant court deliberations, has been on providing meaningful and equitable access for English-language learners to the curriculum, rather than serving as an instrument of language policy for the nation through the development of their native languages (see Glenn, 1996, for a comparison of language policy regarding immigrant languages in other industrialized nations). We note also that children develop within a broad set of environments and circumstances: in families, in neighborhoods, in classrooms and schools, and in societies. There is ample evidence of influence from each of these levels of environmental organization on child development, much of which cannot be adequately addressed in this report. For English-language learners, the important contextual issues include poverty, which as noted above is common among these students; attendance in underfunded schools; low social status accorded to members of certain ethnic and immigrant groups; familial stress; teacher expectations; and incompatibility between home and school environments, particularly related to first language, knowledge, skills, behavior, and ways of learning. These larger

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Page 17 contextual issues are not directly addressed in this report, but form the foundation upon which the parameters we examine operate and interact. Classrooms and schools, too, exist within complex environments, such as school districts and states; they are also influenced by federal policy, the media, and public opinion. A description of these contexts and factors and analysis of their impact on the education of English-language learners deserves serious attention by researchers. However, this committee saw the development of a research agenda in these areas as lying mostly beyond its charge. In the course of our work, we did address topics of key interest to policymakers, such as student assessment, program evaluation, and teacher education, but as an extension of our core charge: to review what we know about the linguistic, cognitive, and social processes involved in the education of English-language learners and develop recommendations for the next generation of research in these areas. A final contextual parameter for this report is a set of assumptions shared by the members of the committee. They are as follows: (1) all children in the United States should be able to function fully in the English language; (2) English-language learners should be held to the same expectations and have the same opportunities for achievement in academic content areas as other students; and (3) in an increasingly global economic and political world, proficiency in languages other than English and an understanding of different cultures are valuable in their own right, and should be among the major goals for schools. Background A detailed review of the history of programs, legislation, and court decisions related to English-language learners and bilingual students is provided in Appendix A. This section provides background information on the student population, the types of programs, the teachers, the educational outcomes, and the research addressed by this report. The Students According to the 1990 U.S. census, 6,322,934 school-aged (5-17) children, or about 14 percent of the total number of students in the U.S. population, lived in a home where a language other than English was spoken. Of these language-minority students, some subset were limited in their English proficiency. Based on the judgment of the respondents in the households sampled,1 we can estimate 1Kominski (1989, cited in McArthur, 1993:4) looked at the validity of these categories in self-reporting English proficiency and found them "appropriate to use…as an aggregate measure to estimate the size of the limited-English-proficient population." The accuracy of parents' reports of their children's proficiency has not been investigated systematically, although one small-scale study showed that Mexican-American parents estimated their children's English proficiency better than their Spanish proficiency (Pease-Alvarez and Hakuta, 1993).

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Page 18 that 907,563 spoke English "not well or not at all," 1,480,680 spoke it "well," and 3,934,691 spoke it "very well." According to a more direct estimate based on a nationally representative sample of school districts, the number of English-language learners in grades K-12 in the fall of 1991 was 2,314,079 (Fleischman and Hopstock, 1993, hereafter referred to as the Descriptive Study). This number represents an increase of almost 1 million students over the results of a survey conducted in 1984 using similar methodology.2 Other estimates of the English-language learner population have ranged from 2.0 to 3.3 million because of the varying estimation methods used (Hopstock and Bucaro, 1993). By far the largest proportion of English-language learners are native speakers of Spanish (73 percent). This is followed by Vietnamese (3.9 percent); Hmong (1.8 percent); Cantonese (1.7 percent); Cambodian (1.6 percent); Korean (1.6 percent); Laotian (1.3 percent); Navajo (1.3 percent); Tagalog (1.3 percent); and Russian, French Creole, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Armenian, Chinese (unspecified), Mandarin, Farsi, Hindi, and Polish. Geographically speaking, English-language learners are concentrated in a small number of large states. Of all the language-minority individuals enumerated in the 1990 census, 67 percent resided in just five states: California (30 percent), Texas (15 percent), New York (11 percent), Florida (6 percent), and Illinois (5 percent). English-language learners comprise proportionately high numbers in a small number of districts; in 1991, for example, 6 percent of districts served a student population that was at least 40 percent English-language learners (Descriptive Study). Recently, however, as the number of immigrants has increased, some have moved to smaller cities and suburban and rural areas, as well as to regions that have had few language minorities in the past, such as the midwest. This trend has been stimulated by a desire for employment and a lower cost of living (Education Week, September 11, 1996). Most English-language learners are in the early elementary grades. Over half (53 percent) can be found in grades K-4. They make up a decreasing proportion of the total population in these grades: 8 percent of all kindergartners, down to about 6 percent of fourth graders. As suggested earlier, English-language learners are also overwhelmingly from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. For example, 77 percent of English-language learners were eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, compared with 38 percent overall in the same schools. According to another study, known as Prospects (a Congressionally mandated evaluation of Chapter 1/Title I that follows longitudinally a nationally representative sample of students [Moss and Puma, 1995]), more than half of English-language learners in the first and third grade cohorts had family incomes under $15,000. A large percentage of 2Some of this increase is probably due to improvements in identification and reporting of English-language learners.

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Page 19 English-language learners attend schools where a high proportion (75-100 percent) of the other students are in poverty. Prospects found that 43 percent of first grade and 51 percent of third grade English-language learners attended such schools, compared with about 13 percent of the overall population. There are important qualitative differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic language-minority groups. Although Prospects did not look separately at Spanish-speaking English-language learners, an analysis of the Current Population Survey from 1989 shows substantial family income differences within the non-English-language groups (McArthur, 1993). For example, 35 percent of families that spoke Asian/Pacific Island languages had incomes under $20,000, compared with 57 percent for Spanish speakers. There were parallel differences in parental educational attainment. Program Definitions The major dimensions used to define educational programs for English-language learners relate to native-language use, the mix of the students' linguistic backgrounds, and the goals of the program. However, most surveys of actual program characteristics show wide variation even within given nomenclatures. In addition, approaches do not exist in isolation, are in coexistence even within given schools, and are often combined in various ways depending on the availability of staff and resources. With these constraints in mind, we offer the following generic program labels and definitions. Note that the first two definitions refer to instructional approaches for teaching English, while the last four are program models that may include those approaches: • English as a second language (ESL)—Students receive specified periods of instruction aimed at the development of English-language skills, with a primary focus on grammar, vocabulary, and communication rather than academic content areas. • Content-based ESL—Students receive specified periods of ESL instruction that is structured around academic content rather than generic English language skills. • Sheltered instruction—Students receive subject matter instruction in English, modified so that it is accessible to them at their levels of English proficiency. • Structured immersion—All students in the program are English-language learners, usually though not always from different language backgrounds. They receive instruction in English, with an attempt made to adjust the level of English so subject matter is comprehensible. Typically there is no native-language support. • Transitional bilingual education—Most students in the program are English-language learners. They receive some degree of instruction through the native language; however, the goal of the program is to transition to English as

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Page 20   rapidly as possible, so that even within the program, there is a rapid shift toward using primarily English. • Maintenance bilingual education—Most students in the program are English-language learners and from the same language background. They receive significant amounts of their instruction in their native language. Unlike transitional programs, these programs aim to develop English proficiency, but also to develop academic proficiency in the native language. • Two-way bilingual programs—About half of the students in these programs are native speakers of English, and the other half are English-language learners from the same language group. The goal of the program is to develop proficiency in both languages for both groups of students. Data on program types are difficult to collect and interpret because program philosophy and objectives do not always translate into program practice. However, it is safe to say that ESL-only (with some variants of content-based ESL and sheltered instruction) and transitional bilingual education are the two prevalent models. A recent study found over 1600 schools that reported offering content ESL (content-based ESL and/or sheltered instruction) (Sheppard, 1995). Structured immersion programs are very few in number, as evidenced by the fact that a recent study examining the effects of structured immersion (Ramirez et al., 1991) had to select the universe of these programs. Maintenance programs are also relatively rare, while a recent survey of two-way bilingual programs, which are increasingly popular, identified just 182 schools nation-wide where this method is used (Christian and Whitcher, 1995). Findings from the Descriptive Study suggest that about 33 percent of English-language learners are in ESL-only or immersion programs, while 57 percent are in some form of transitional bilingual program (9 percent have services classified as unknown). A different picture emerges from Prospects, which suggests a considerably smaller percentage of English-language learners receiving instruction in their native language; it estimates that reading and math were taught by a teacher using the native language in less than half of both the first and third grade cohorts. This discrepancy is notable, given that bilingual education is more prevalent in the lower than in the higher grades, and the Descriptive Study estimate is based on K-12, whereas Prospects is for grades 1 and 3. However, the studies are different in their sampling frames, missing data characteristics, timing, and questions employed. Most likely, Fleischman and Hopstock's category of "some L1" (L1 referring to the students' native language) included cases in which the L1 instruction was delivered by an instructional aide who spoke that language, rather than by the teacher. The predominance of the transitional bilingual education model is underscored by one longitudinal analysis reported in Prospects (Exhibit 4.3), reporting data for the third grade cohort from the beginning and end of the year. At the beginning of the year, 71 percent of classroom teachers reported teaching primarily in the native language and 9 percent primarily in English. But by the end of

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Page 21 the year, 14 percent reported teaching primarily in the native language and 40 percent primarily in English (another 37 percent reported that the language use varied from student to student). The Descriptive Study used multiple regression to examine factors that predicted services involving native-language use. The strongest predictors were the availability of teachers who spoke the language and the percentage of English-language learners whose native language was Spanish. School poverty level was positively related to the likelihood of English-language learners' receiving instruction in their native language. Among the first grade cohort in Prospects, 70 percent of those in high-poverty schools received some math instruction in their native language, compared with 17 percent for those in medium- and low-poverty schools. The Teachers The Descriptive Study found that approximately 15 percent of all public school teachers in the country had at least one English-language learner in their class. Most of these teachers, about 66 percent, were mainstream classroom teachers serving some English-language learners; about 18 percent were mainstream classroom teachers serving primarily English-language learners. The study also found (p. 39) that "teachers of English-language learners hold regular elementary and secondary teaching certification; only small percentages are certified in bilingual education (10 percent) or ESL (8 percent). Forty-five percent hold Master's degrees or higher, while the remainder held Bachelor's degrees. Teachers of LEP students had a mean of four undergraduate mathematics and four undergraduate science courses; however, they averaged less than one mathematics course and less than one science course during their graduate training." About 42 percent of teachers of English-language learners spoke a non-English language that was the native language of one or more of those students. The study also found that only 55 percent of the teachers of English-language learners had taken relevant college courses or had received recent inservice professional development relating to the instruction of those students. Only about one-third of teachers of English-language learners had taken college courses concerning cultural differences and their implications for teaching such students. Educational Outcomes Data on educational outcomes are particularly difficult to obtain for the English-language learner population because their limited English proficiency constrains the validity of achievement measures administered in English.3 For 3Recently, the National Center for Educational Statistics has made efforts to incorporate more of these students in its assessments (see Chapters 5 and 9).

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Page 22 example, the National Assessment of Educational Progress excludes students who have limited English proficiency and are judged incapable of taking the test in English. Similarly, in the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 sample of eighth graders, 327 students identified as having limited English proficiency were included in the sample, but 3,831 students were eliminated because they were thought to be insufficiently proficient in English to complete the questionnaire or to take the tests. Thus, any estimate based on the sample of English-language learners who took the tests would likely be biased toward those most proficient in English. The Prospects study provides some measure of achievement in the early grades. Students were tested either with the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) or a similar test administered in Spanish, known as the SABE, offering English-language learners of Spanish-language background the opportunity to take the test in their native language if they were not judged adequately proficient in English. The CTBS results showed English-language learners performing considerably below general population norms in both reading and math. For example, the third grade cohort achieved at a mean percentile level of 24.8 percent in reading and 35.2 percent in math, compared with 56.4 and 56.8 percent, respectively, for all public school students. For those students who took the SABE, the mean percentile was somewhat but not much better, at 41.1 percent for reading and 35.2 percent for math. For both measures, performance was strongly related to the concentration of students from poor families in the school. The higher the concentration of poor families, the worse the student performance. The performance of English-language learners in schools with school poverty concentrations of 20-34 percent was not substantially different from the general population norm for all public school students. However, although there is an effect for poverty, limited English proficiency also plays a role in lowered scores, as indicated by differences between English-language learners and language-minority students (not currently limited-English-proficient) in high-poverty schools. For example, the third grade cohort of language-minority students in high-poverty (75-100 percent) schools scored at the 26.9 mean percentile, while English-language learners in these schools scored at the 15.5 mean percentile. Comparable figures for schools with 50-74 percent poverty were 43.7 mean percentile for language-minority students and 28.4 for English-language learners. Prospects also examined student grades and teacher ratings of student ability and social and affective characteristics. English-language learners were less likely than all students to receive grades of excellent in reading or math. Teachers also rated such students lower than all students in their overall ability to perform in school and their overall achievement in school. However, teachers did not judge English-language learners to be different on a number of student affective characteristics, such as honesty, friendliness, happiness, self-esteem, ability to get along with teachers, and respect for authority. There were also no

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Page 23 differences from the overall student population in school attendance, tardiness, and school suspensions. Finally, drop-out rates for language-minority students provide one important indicator of educational outcomes for English-language learners. Data from the 1989 Current Population Survey show that 31.3 percent of Spanish speakers aged 16 to 24 were not enrolled in and had not completed high school, compared with 10.5 percent of English-only speakers. Figures for the other language groups were comparable to those for the English-only speakers. The difference between the Spanish-speaking and other language-minority groups is largely eliminated when one controls statistically for parental educational attainment (McArthur, 1993:Table 16). To summarize, although incomplete, the data on student outcomes indicate distressing results for English-language learners, both short term as seen in test scores and teacher judgments and long term as seen in high school completion rates. Furthermore, other confounding factors—poverty level and level of parental educational attainment—are involved. The Research As discussed in Chapter 10 and Appendix A, recent federal policy with regard to educating English-language learners has been based on relatively little research, as a result of both the paucity of research and the predominance of politics. It has endorsed bilingual instruction, both through Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968 and the interpretation of the Supreme Court decision in Lau v. Nichols. The predominant justification for advocating bilingual education could be characterized as what one observer has called "a leap of faith" (Crawford, 1995). There was some documentation of the successful experiences in Dade County, Florida, serving the initial influx of Cuban refugees in the early 1960s (see Mackey and Beebe, 1977). Also influential were the comparative experiences with bilingual education in Canada, in which English-speaking children were immersed in French programs and emerged with functional bilingualism (Lambert and Tucker, 1972). However, the students participating in the programs in Dade County in the 1960s and the French immersion programs in Canada were in many respects different from the majority of English-language learners. The students in the Dade County programs were children from the initial wave of Cuban refugees following Castro's revolution, children of the country's elite. The students in the Canadian immersion programs were children of the culturally dominant Anglophones who saw opportunity in their children's bilingualism and whose native language enjoyed a privileged status in the nation. Students with limited English proficiency in U.S. schools at large, to whom the laws were directed, came predominantly from low-income families. Except for studies from the early turn of the century based on theories about the genetic or experiential inferiority of

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Page 24 eastern and southern European immigrants (see Hakuta, 1986), little was known about the education of English-language learners from poor and immigrant backgrounds and families of relatively low levels of formal educational history. American education research was thus faced with a significant challenge. The response to this challenge came from three distinct and potentially complementary quarters. The first source of information was basic research on second-language acquisition and the development and functioning of bilingual children within the domains of literacy, cognition, and socio-emotional functioning—research that is essentially descriptive and not directly concerned with outcomes (see Chapters 2 through 4). By the late 1960s, major changes had taken place in theories of language, learning, and development. Behaviorism had collapsed and been replaced by cognitive theories that emphasized complex structures, computational models, and meaning. There was tremendous excitement and energy in the field that promised translation into practice. The founding of the National Institute for Education within the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare in 1972 bespoke the faith placed in strong theory to guide education research, development, and practice. From this knowledge, it was hoped, would emerge effective programming for English-language learners. The second source of information was program evaluation research (see Chapter 6). If a policy favors a certain type of program, such as the use of the student's native language in instruction, it makes sense to ask whether the programs that implement this policy are achieving the intended outcomes. Not surprisingly, the tug-of-war between bilingual and other programs that characterized the policy discussions of the 1970s and 1980s (see Chapter 6 and Appendix A) drove this research agenda. Usually, the outcomes of interest were (1) English-language proficiency (generally the primary focus) and (2) achievement in basic subject areas, usually as measured in English.4 As is discussed later in this report, many of the early evaluation studies used quasi-experimental designs to compare bilingual and English-only treatments on these outcomes to test the validity of the policy favoring bilingual instruction. Given the complexity of the issues related to educating English-language learners, as well as the failure of much basic research in bilingualism to address questions of policy and practice in bilingual education, basic research did not help inform practice. Nor did program evaluation research, which was narrowly focused on issues of language of instruction. Gradually, a third line of research emerged that investigated the effectiveness of instructional programs and practices more broadly (see Chapter 7). One line of work described school and program environments to explore theories of teaching and learning. Another examined schools and classrooms determined to 4Although many advocates for language minority students favored a maintenance approach to bilingual education, this outcome was never seriously addressed by evaluation research, mostly because it was never a serious policy objective of either Title VII or the courts.

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Page 25 be effective based on nominations or student outcomes. Finally, studies were conducted to evaluate theoretically driven interventions. Some of these studies were quasi-experimental in nature. There are many points of entry through which an organized research effort can illuminate and improve the education of English-language learners. The historical and policy contexts indicate a need to expand the questions addressed from simple English language acquisition to the teaching and learning of academic content. At the same time, the repertoire of research needs to be rich enough to support the changing demands of what constitutes appropriate action, given changes in student, teacher, and program characteristics. The research enterprise will have to be flexible and adaptable to new and unexpected changes, and will have to be exciting enough to draw first-rate talent to work creatively on the problems. Organization Of This Report Chapters 2 through 9 review the state of knowledge and identify research needs in eight areas: • Bilingualism and second-language learning (Chapter 2) • Cognitive aspects of school learning, including literacy development and content area learning (Chapter 3) • The social context of school learning (Chapter 4) • Student assessment (Chapter 5) • Program evaluation (Chapter 6) • School and classroom effectiveness (Chapter 7) • Preparation and development of teachers serving English-language learners (Chapter 8) • Estimation of population parameters, or education statistics (Chapter 9) This report is organized partly around the traditional distinction between basic and applied research, but is also structured to reflect specific areas of concern for educational policymakers. The first three chapters (Chapter 2-4) address basic research questions about bilingualism, second-language acquisition, literacy, content area learning, the social context of school learning, and intergroup relations. The next four chapters are organized around more practical issues: student assessment (Chapter 5), program evaluation (Chapter 6), school and classroom effectiveness (Chapter 7), and teacher education and development (Chapter 8). These topical issues were selected because they represent key areas of concern in the current discussions of educational reform. Chapter 9 analyzes issues involved in the collection of national education statistics. This important topic is given separate treatment because our recommendations are addressed primarily to one office: the National Center for Educational Statistics. Differing

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Page 26 research traditions (cognitive aspects of school learning, program evaluation, and research on schooling and classroom effectiveness) are treated separately in individual chapters so the reader can get a sense of how the evidence from each tradition or data source is analyzed and how inferences are drawn. However, the reader should note there is some overlap among the kinds of studies cited in individual chapters. Chapter 10 examines issues related to the infrastructure within which research on English-language learners and bilingual education is conducted. Important context for this discussion is presented in Appendix A (and the supporting information in Appendices B and C), which provides a comprehensive review of the history of research on English-language learners and examines the research infrastructure. Finally, Chapter 11 presents the research priorities identified as a result of this study. Four principles guided the committee's identification of research priorities and provided coherence to our proposed agenda. These principles hold that priority should be given to the following: important topics to which insufficient attention has been paid, but for which there already exist promising theories and research methodologies; important gaps in population coverage, such as certain age or language groups, for whom the applicability of current findings from a more limited population can be tested; legitimate research questions that are of strong interest to particular constituencies, such as educators, policymakers, and the public at large; and endeavors that would build the nation's capacity to conduct high-quality research on English-language learners and programs designed to serve their needs. References Brimelow, P. 1995 Alien Nation. New York: Random House. Christian, D., and A. Whitcher 1995 Directory of Two-Way Bilingual Programs in the United States. Revised. Santa Cruz, CA, and Washington, DC: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning. Crawford, J. 1992 Language Loyalties: A Source Book on the Official English Controversy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1995 Bilingual Education: History Politics Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: Bilingual Educational Services. Education Week 1996 Enrollment crunch stretches the bounds of the possible. Education Week (September 11):1. Epstein, Noel 1977 Language, Ethnicity, and the Schools: Policy Alternatives for Bilingual-Bicultural Education. Washington, DC: George Washington University.

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Page 27 Fleischman, H.L., and P.J. Hopstock 1993 Descriptive Study of Services to Limited English Proficient Students, Volume 1. Summary of Findings and Conclusions. Prepared for Office of the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education by Development Associates, Inc., Arlington, VA. Glenn, C.L., with E.J. de Jong 1996 Educating Immigrant Children: Schools and Language Minorities in 12 Nations. New York: Garland. Graff, Gerald 1992 Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education. New York: W.W. Norton. Hakuta, K. 1986 Minor of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism. New York: Basic Books. Hopstock, P.J., and B.J. Bucaro 1993 A Review and Analysis of Estimates of the LEP Student Population. Arlington, VA: Development Associates, Special Issues Analysis Center. Hu-DeHart, E. 1995 Ethnic studies in U.S. higher education: History, development and goals. Pp. 696-707 in J. Banks and C. McGee Banks, eds., Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education. New York: Macmillan. Lambert, W.E., and G. R. Tucker 1972 Bilingual Education of Children: The St. Lambert Experiment. Rowley, MA: Newbury House. Mackey, William Francis, and Von Nieda Beebe 1977 Bilingual Schools for a Bicultural Community. Miami's Adaptation to the Cuban Refugees. Rowley, MA: Newbury House. McArthur, E.K. 1993 Language Characteristics and Schooling in the United States, A Changing Picture: 1979 and 1989. National Center for Education Statistics, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Document number NCES 93-699. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Moss, M., and M. Puma 1995 Prospects: The Congressionally Mandated Study of Educational Growth and Opportunity. First Year Report on Language Minority and Limited English Proficient Students. Prepared for Office of the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education by Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA. Pease-Alvarez, L., and K. Hakuta 1993 Perspectives from a North American Community. Keynote Address. Section on Language Attrition and Shift. Tenth World Congress of the International Association of Applied Linguistics. University of California at Santa Cruz and Stanford University. Ramirez, D.J., S.D. Yuen, D.R. Ramey, and D.J. Pasta 1991 Final Report: National Longitudinal Study of Structured-English Immersion Strategy, Early-Exit and Late-Exit Transitional Bilingual Education Programs for Language-Minority Children. Volumes I and II. San Mateo, CA: Aguirre International. Rivera, C. 1994 Is it real for all kids? Harvard Educational Review 64(1):55-75. Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. 1991 The Disuniting of America. New York: Norton. Sheppard, Kenneth 1995 Content-ESL Across the USA: A Technical Report. Final report submitted to the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Page 28 BILINGUALISM AND SECOND-LANGUAGE LEARNING: SUMMARY OF THE STATE OF KNOWLEDGE A review of the literature on bilingualism and second-language learning reveals the following key findings: • Bilingualism is pervasive throughout the world, but varies according to the conditions under which people become bilingual, the uses they have for their various languages, and the social status of the languages. For example, some children learn two languages from the onset of language acquisition, while others begin to acquire a second language when they arrive in school. • When socioeconomic status is controlled, bilingualism shows no negative effects on the overall linguistic, cognitive, or social development of children, and may even provide general advantages in these areas of mental functioning. • Second-language acquisition is a complex process requiring a diverse set of explanatory factors. For example, second-language learning can be viewed as a linguistic and cognitive accomplishment, but social variables also affect language use and structure. • An important dimension is the age and concomitant cognitive skills of the second-language learner. Because of their more advanced cognitive skills, older children acquire a second language at a more rapid rate than younger children. • The degree of children's native-language proficiency is a strong predictor of their English-language development. • Second-language abilities should be assessed in relation to the uses of language the learner will require, rather than in isolation as an abstract competence. • Individual and group constraints such as age of learning, intelligence, attitudes, and personality have been examined in hopes of explaining individual differences in language learning. Age of learning and intelligence are related to certain aspects of second-language acquisition, but attitudes and personality are not promising explanations for the learning of English by language-minority students. • Many bilinguals in the United States show a strong preference for English in a number of conversational situations, and this shift in preference results in a monolingual English upbringing for their children. • Evidence from preschool programs reviewed in this chapter suggests that use of the child's native language does not impede the acquisition of English.

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