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Building Bridges to Academic Success. Elaine C. Klein Barbara Schroder Annie Smith Professional Development Session on SIFE, The Center for Professional Learning, Rochester, N.Y. December 4, 2012.

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Building Bridges to Academic Success


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    1. Building Bridges to Academic Success Elaine C. Klein Barbara Schroder Annie Smith Professional Development Session on SIFE, The Center for Professional Learning, Rochester, N.Y. December 4, 2012

    2. A Project Of RISLUS and CASECity University of New York Funded By The the NYC Department of Education, the NYS Education Department, and theNew York Community Trust

    3. Overview of Today’s Program • The SIFE Story, Part 1: What we know about SIFE • The SIFE Story, Part 2  The Bridges Project • Bridges Year One Outcomes

    4. The SIFE Story,Part 1: What We Know About SIFE Dr. Elaine C. Klein Principal Investigator Bridges to Academic Success City University of New York Elaine.klein@QC.cuny.edu

    5. Some Essential Questions • Who are the SIFE in our story? • What make SIFE unique? - What do the researchers tell us? • What do we take away from The SIFE Story, Part 1?

    6. “Students with Interrupted Formal Education” Just who ARESIFE? How do they differ from other students who come here from other countries?

    7. A Sub-group of “English Language Learners” • Home language is other than English • Entered the US after grade 3 • 2(+) years of educational gaps • 2(+) years below grade level in reading and math (LAB-R) • May be “preliterate” in the native language (NYSEDSIFEGUIDELINES 2011)

    8. What do you as educators notice about SIFE vs. other ELLs?

    9. Some widely held beliefs about SIFE • Signif. gapsin schooling  academic deficits • Schooled in rural areasin their home countries • Low motivation for reading and academic work • Low decoding skills, i.e. can’t read at word level • Memory, language, or cognitive deficits (i.e. belong in ‘special ed’) • Non-academic goals

    10. What do researchers know about ELLs and SIFE in our schools? • ELLs = 11% US school population; close to 49.5 mil • Wide gap particularly at grade 8 for ELLs vs ‘others’ • ELLs In NYC (NYC DOE Demographic Report 2011): • Graduation Rates: 40.3% ELLs v. 75.3% others • Drop-out Rates: 32.6% ELLs v. 16.9% others Note: 1/3 of all dropouts occur in 9th grade (AEE 2010) • SIFE in US (Short and Boyson 2012) and in NYC (Advocates for Children 2010): • Performance on all measures is sig below other ELLs’

    11. Summary of Past SIFE Research (Mostly anecdotal or qualitative/ descriptive) • Inadequate assessment • Inappropriate placement • No specialized curricular or instruction • Limited research on effectiveness of existing program models

    12. The New York City SIFE Studies Klein and Martohardjono(2005-2006), SIFE Study 1 (pilot) Klein and Martohardjono (2006-2008), SIFE Study 2

    13. Background:SIFE in New York City • Highest % of SIFE enter in 8th – 10th grades • Over 15,000 SIFE in NYC high schools • Evenly distributed among 4 boroughs • 65% Spanish, many other home languages • Anecdotally, very few reach 12th grade

    14. Research Questions • How do we identify SIFE? • What are the characteristics of the population? • How do SIFE differ from other ELLs? • What academic competencies do SIFE bring to school in the US? • What are their native or home language (“L1”) literacy skills? • How extensive is their academic knowledge? • How do SIFE differ from comparative groups? • What are the academic needs of SIFE and how can educators meet those needs?

    15. Method, Study 1one year(2005-2006) Participants: • 12 new SIFE in 9th grade, L1 Spanish • 2 urban high schools Design Quantitative: • Oral intake questionnaire (Spanish) • Reading and content area diagnostics (Spanish and English ALLD) Qualitative: • Individual (12) case studies

    16. Method, Study 218 months (2006-2008) Participants • 93 new SIFE in 9th grade, L1 Spanish • 5 urban high schools • 4 Comparison groups (see next slide) Design Quantitative: • Intake and exit questionnaires (Spanish) • Oral assessments of typical language development (Spanish and English) • Reading and content area diagnostics (Spanish and English) Qualitative: • Classroom observations

    17. Four Comparison Groups Native English Speaker Groups: • 9th and 10th Graders • Community College West Indian English speakers English Language Learner Groups: • 9th-11th Grade ELLs, at same schools as SIFE • Community College Spanish-English speakers

    18. Overall Results Study 1 (pilot) and Study 2 had very similar findings, to be shown in the following slides.

    19. A Striking Result After the same length of stay in school (1 ½ years) and similar ESL instruction (sometimes in the same classrooms) ... SIFE show considerable delays in English (“L2”) reading development when compared to other ELLs

    20. Comparison of English (L2) Reading: ELLsvs.SIFE

    21. Academic Literacy in English On average, SIFE are: 4 years behind ELLs in vocabulary 3 years behind ELLs in reading comprehension

    22. WHY THIS DELAY?

    23. SIFE Backgrounds? SIFE Attitudes? SIFE Goals?

    24. SIFE Backgrounds • Most are from the Dominican Republic, Mexico or Honduras. • No differences between those from urban vs. rural schools. • Most live in the U.S. with only one parent and have family members in their country of origin. • Most report high school as highest level of education among family members in U.S.

    25. SIFE Attitudes • Strong motivation for school success (“I will graduate!”) • Positive attitudes towards education in Spanish and English. (“It is important to continue to study in Spanish!” “It is important to learn English!”) • High levels of self-efficacy (“I can do it!”) • Strong expectations that their education will contribute to future success in a job or at college (“My education here will help me do well in the future!”)

    26. Goals and Aspirations

    27. Gaps in Prior Schooling?

    28. Gaps in Schooling

    29. Language Delays ? Memory Deficits?

    30. Oral Language and Listening Comprehension in L1 Oral Language: Fluent, smooth, intelligible speech; controls appropriate language structure for speaking about complex material. Listening comprehension (understanding of simple and complex sentences) Within the range of typically-developing native speakers Working memory (WM): Within normal range Typical language development and average working memory

    31. Limited Native/Home Language Literacy?

    32. Basic Literacy in Home Language First Grade Phonological & Orthographic Awareness Word Reading Simple Sentence Comprehension Mean % Correct = 96, SD = 4.5 High basic literacy in Spanish

    33. Academic Literacy in Home Language Reading Vocabulary: Mean Grade Level 5 Reading Comprehension: Mean Grade Level 3.5

    34. Comparison between Reading Skills in the Home LanguageNative English HS Peers vs. SIFE

    35. Reading Vocabulary – Reading Comprehension Relationship There is a significant positive correlation between reading vocabulary and reading comprehension r = .578, p < .001

    36. The Transfer of Skills Research strongly indicates a transfer of skills from the home language to English: The higher the literacy skills in the L1, the higher they are likely to be in the new language.

    37. Comparison of English (L2) Reading: ELLsvs.SIFE

    38. Some other findings among our SIFE group Academic performance in subject areas (tested in Spanish): • Math: Majority at/below grade 3 • Science: Majority at/below grade 4 • Social Science: Majority at/below grade 4

    39. Some other findings among our SIFE group, con’t Academic literacy gains in one year: • 1.5 grade levels in Spanish reading vocabulary • 1.7 grade levels in Spanish reading comprehension • 1 grade level in Spanish math

    40. SIFE Story, Part 1: The Take Away Conclusions and Recommendations

    41. The NYC SIFE Studies show that: Most SIFE have typical language development and average working memories Most SIFE are motivated and have high goals Many SIFE have no gaps in schooling Most SIFE have word-level reading skills in the native language

    42. The NYC SIFE Studies also show that: • Unlike other ELLs, SIFE show serious delays in higher level reading skills and academic knowledge in the L1 • After 1 – 1 ½ years in school here, • SIFE show some gains in L1 math and literacy skills • SIFE show fewer gains in L2 literacy, when compared to other groups

    43. Short and Boyson (2012:4) “Those with disrupted or weak educational backgrounds and below-grade-level literacy in their own native language—are most at risk of educational failure because they have to learn English and overcome educational gaps in their knowledge base before studying the required content courses for high school graduation.”

    44. Recommendations Identification and Placement: • Use systematic diagnostics district-wide, in the home language when possible • Change focus from “English language learners” to “emergent bilinguals” (O. Garcia 2009) • Do not limit SIFE identification criteria to students with“gaps in schooling” Students in greatest need are those with limited literacy in the home language

    45. S’moreRecommendations Programs and Instruction: We propose at least one extra year of schooling, i.e. a transitional year before 9th grade, with: • A specialized, rigorous, accelerated curriculum • Sheltered classes, with high degree of differentiation • Strong home language support, whenever possible • Intensive English from the beginning • Focus on foundational and text-level academic literacy • Focus on building background world knowledge supported by the native language • Specially trained teachers to deliver instruction (strong PD and curriculum coaching elements to program)

    46. Urgent need for dramatic interventions to better serve these students • Klein & Martohardjono(2006) • August & Shanahan (2006) • DeCapua, Smathers& Tang (2007) • Short & Fitzsimmons(2007) • Garrison-Fletcher, Barrera-Tobon, Fredericks, Klein, Martohardjono, O'Neill & Raña (2008) • Advocates for Children (AFC) Report (2010) • Short & Boyson (2012)

    47. The SIFE Story,Part 2: The Bridges Project(Research and Development Phase) Annie Smith annie.brightminds@gmail.com Director; Bright Minds Educational Consulting

    48. The Building of Bridges • OBJECTIVES: • Develop, pilot and document an intervention in English, Math, SS and Science, using a research-based theoretical framework. • Provide students with a transitional year that prepares them to participate and engage with 9th grade curriculum. • Evaluate and track the academic growth of Bridges students

    49. Some Guiding Principles Strong correlations between: • Academic Achievement andAcademic Literacy (e.gCloud et al. 2010) • Academic Literacy inL1and L2(e.g. Cummins 1981; August & Shanahan 2006) • Reading Comprehension andOral Academic Language (e.g. Freeman & Freeman 2009; Cloud et al. 2010)