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Appears in:
Pages: 162-168
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1036

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

ADVANCING THE ACADEMIC LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELLS) IN THE USA: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL EVALUATION IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOMS

P. Portes1, M. Gonzalez2, D. Boada1

1University of Georgia (UNITED STATES)
2University of Pennsylvania (UNITED STATES)
In the United States English language learners (ELLs) represent one in every ten students in the U.S. K-12 system (National Center for Education Statistics, 2014 and only 8% of 4th-grade English learning bilingual children of immigrants are proficient readers in English. Most remain grades behind or drop-out. Our nationally-funded experiment addresses a teaching gap and presents results from a clustered RCT that examines the impact of Instructional Conversation (IC) intervention on third- and fifth-grade (ELLs and non-ELLs) students’ academic achievement in 120 classrooms.

The IC is the last of the Five Standards for Effective Pedagogy model (Tharp et al., 2000) piloted by the Center for Research on Education Diversity and Excellence (CREDE). Teaching through Instructional Conversation develops students’ cognitive and linguistic skills through facilitated discussion, social learning, modeled academic/disciplinary conversation, and the shared practice of cognitive strategies.

Regularly-scheduled teaching and learning in groups with three to seven students, lasting about 20-30 minutes, with a clear instructional goal.

Teacher engages students in conversations that have clear academic and language goals, and then gradually relinquishes control over time as students regulate their own speaking turns and take on greater responsibility for the learning activity at hand. The topics of ICs are generally taken from the curricula of academic disciplines: Reading was the target.

The intervention randomized 120 teachers about half whom completed a one year of professional development intensive training; their students were tested by the state. The students from the experimental group, particularly English learners benefitted from the experimental teachers conversational instruction that was student centered, outscoring control group students particularly in English language arts with effect sizes suggesting a 10-12% advantage using a HLM (Hierachical Leveling Models) focused on intervention and grade (3rd or 5th grade).

This study evaluates the effectiveness of a dialectical pedagogy in terms of student learning. It has important implications for advancing our current knowledge regarding the integration of effective teaching practices. Methodologically, this clustered RCT design has considerable internal validity and allows for some causal inferences to be made with reservations.

Given dramatic demographic shifts taking place in student populations across the United States this study raises new questions about meeting the learning needs of a growing new generation of young students. The model presented advances the field significantly in closing both teaching and student learning gaps and in providing the least restrictive environment for ELL students in particular. This study’s practical significance centers on providing an evidenced based direction on teacher preparation, that in turn, can raise the bar for all students. The evaluation study also carries important implications for guiding educational policies and practices in general and specifically for language minority groups placed at risk. The intervention approach in general appears to positively influence the adaptation students who often lag and stay behind early in their schooling rarely attaining grade-level proficiency.
@InProceedings{PORTES2018ADV,
author = {Portes, P. and Gonzalez, M. and Boada, D.},
title = {ADVANCING THE ACADEMIC LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELLS) IN THE USA: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL EVALUATION IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOMS},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1036},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1036},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {162-168}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Portes AU - M. Gonzalez AU - D. Boada
TI - ADVANCING THE ACADEMIC LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELLS) IN THE USA: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL EVALUATION IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOMS
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1036
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 162
EP - 168
ER -
P. Portes, M. Gonzalez, D. Boada (2018) ADVANCING THE ACADEMIC LEARNING OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELLS) IN THE USA: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL EVALUATION IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOMS, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 162-168.
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