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Advancing the language and literacy of English Learners in an era of the Common Core Standards

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  1. Advancing the language and literacy of English Learners in an era of the Common Core Standards Laurie Olsen, Ph.D. Alameda County Office of Education English Learner Institute January 26, 2013 lolaurieo@gmail.com

  2. English Learners “There is no equality of treatment merely by providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers and curriculum…for students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education…” Lau v. Nichols, Supreme Court

  3. The task: To get them to English proficiencyTo ensure access to curriculum while learning English A moving target under the Common Core Standards  _______________________________________________________________________ Proficient for Academic work No English

  4. Research on EL District Initiatives Families, Community State & Federal Accountability Reforms Civil Rights • Growing Gap • Declining progress towards English proficiency • New barriers to access • Persistent Long Term English Learner challenge Politics Capacity Prof. development, teacher placement, credentialling,

  5. Entering era of converging forces Long Term English Learner Research The Common Core Standards English Learner Research

  6. Long Term English Learner Research

  7. Long Term English Learners are created…….. Long Term EL Struggling Students

  8. English Learner Typologies • Newly arrived with adequate schooling (including literacy in L1) • Newly arrived with interrupted formal schooling - “Underschooled” - “SIFE” • English Learners developing normatively (1-5 years) • Long Term English Learner

  9. Reparable Harm research:Californians Together Survey (2010) • Data from 40 school districts • Data on 175,734 English Learners in grades 6 - 12 • This is 31% of California’s English Learners in grades 6 – 12 • Districts vary in EL enrollment, size and context

  10. Data collected on English Learners 6 - 12 • # of years since date of entry • Secondary ELs who enrolled in K/1 • 6+ by CELDT level • 6+ by academic failure (Ds, Fs) • Definition • Placement

  11. Across all districts59% of secondary school ELs are long term(103,635 in sample) Differs significantly from district to district (21% - 96%)

  12. Definitions vary • Nine of 40 have a formal definition • Length of time (years) is part of every definition • The number of years used in the definitions vary from 5 years to 7+ • Six districts include “lack of progress” or evidence of academic failure along with the number of years

  13. Their double challenge – our legal responsibility “English learners cannot be permitted to incur irreparable academic deficits during the time in which they are mastering English” “School districts are obligated to address deficits as soon as possible, and to ensure that their schooling does not become a permanent deadend.”

  14. Definition (AB 2193): An English Learner in secondary schools who….. Has been continuously or cumulatively enrolled in US schools for 6+ years Not met reclassification criteria Evidence of inadequate progress (e.g., slow, inadequate or stalled progress in English language development Is struggling academically (e.g., GPA of 2.0 or below; grades of D or F in two or more core classes)

  15. Building Block#1:Know who your English Learners are --the extent and magnitude of the LTEL issue in your schools

  16. Annual Expectations for English Learners

  17. Recent survey • Data from 35 school districts (mix of suburban, rural and urban; geographic diversity; small to very large; vary in concentration of English Learners) • Data on 108,609 ELLs in grades 3 - 5

  18. Indicators of Risk • After 5 years – haven’t reached CELDT proficiency • After 5 years – stalled at Intermediate Level III on CELDT for more than two years • After 5 years – scoring at FBB or BB on CST-ELA

  19. By fifth grade • Almost half of students who enrolled in Kindergarten as English Learners are redesignated • 52% of those who enrolled as an ELL in Kindergarten are still English Learners • Half of those have not yet reached CELDT proficiency • 1/3 have been stalled at Intermediate level for MORE than two years • ½ are scoring at FBB or BB on CST-ELA

  20. Action Items  • Adopt a clear definition • Develop expectations for progress based on number of years of enrollment • Use those expectations to identify students at risk of becoming Long Term English Learners • Disaggregate achievement data by number of years in U.S. schools See BB#1 Checklist and data template

  21. A school – by the numbers

  22. A STUDENT ROSTER Roster by Expectations

  23. BUILDING BLOCK #2: KNOW WHAT TO WATCH FOR!

  24. Typical behavioral profile • Learned passivity, non-engagement, underlying discomfort in classes • Don’t ask questions or ask for help • Tend not to complete homework or understand the steps needed to complete assignments • Not readers • Typically desire to go to college – high hopes and dreams but unaware of pathway to those dreams • Do not know they are doing poorly academically – think they are English fluent

  25. By 6th grade, they have distinct language issues • High functioning in social situations in both languages – but limited vocabulary in both • Prefer English – are increasingly weak in their home language • Weak academic language – with gaps in reading and writing skills • Are stuck in progressing towards English proficiency

  26. The continuum: learning English as a second language 1 – 3 years 7 – 10 years      _______________________________________________________________________ No English CELDT Proficient Proficient for Academic work Oral, social English CST Basic I II III IV V

  27. Big discrepancy between CELDT Proficiency and Basic on CST/ELA Percent English Learners attaining these benchmarks statewide

  28. What is an AMAO?Annual Measurable Achievement Objective • AMAO #1 – progress towards English proficiency measured by CELDT levels (target 54.6%) • AMAO #2 – attainment of English proficiency which is defined as “CELDT proficient” (overall Early Advanced, no domain less than Intermediate) - (target: 43.2% those <5yrs) • AMAO #3 – academic performance in English measured by scoring proficient on CST in ELA and Math (target: 67%)

  29. Which levels on CELDT are meeting growth target AMAO #1 (Alameda County)?

  30. To get this data for your site…. • www.cde.ca.gov • Dataquest • Level (county) • Subject: English Language Development Test (CELDT) • Select county and submit • Click: CELDT results by prior proficiency • Select the district; and then the site

  31. Alameda Co. selected districts State target 56% 45.1%

  32. Action Items  • Examine AMAOs for adequate growth and patterns • Conduct walkthroughs and observations, shadow students to monitor active participation and engagement • Build staff understanding of CELDT and data and normative expectations • Celebrate progress See BB#2 Checklist and data template

  33. Building Block #3: Understand what practices contribute towards the creation of LTELs – and what may need to change

  34. No services - mainstream • Three out of four spent at least two years in “no services” or mainstream • This trend has increased in California schools in past decade

  35. Trend: Towards the weakest EL Program Models

  36. Other contributing factors • Inconsistent program placements • Inconsistent implementation within programs • Social segregation and linguistic isolation • Transnational moves – transnational schooling

  37. Unintended consequences • Narrowed curriculum  academic gaps & lack of academic language • Professional development and monitoring are tied to fidelity in implementation of core curriculum packages that aren’t adequate for the language development strategies English Learners need • Interventions as solution  schedule filled with inadequate and inappropriate support classes, interventions that aren’t designed for English Learners

  38. CONFUSION ??? English Language Development (ELD) English Language Arts • Universal Access • Preview/Review Reading Support, English Intervention Classes

  39. The National Literacy Panel “Instructional strategies effective with native English speakers do not have as positive a learning impact on language minority students….. Instruction in the key components of reading is necessary but not sufficient for teaching language minority students to read and write proficiently in English.”

  40. On the issue of interventions • CAL (“Double the Work”) - reading interventions designed for native speakers aren’t appropriate for ELLs • National Literacy Panel - good literacy and reading interventions work for both ELL and proficient students - but they work BETTER for English proficient students (gap grows) and do not address some key needs of LTELs • From the 1.5 generation research on college students, and linguistics research - appears that WRITING may be a more powerful emphasis than READING strategies for LTELs

  41. In secondary schools….. (from the Californians Together survey) • 3 of 4 districts have no approach to serving Long Term English Learners • Majority of CA districts place their Long Term English Learners into mainstream • Three CA districts place Long Term English Learners by English proficiency level with other English Learners (in NYC, this is the common placement)

  42. Typical program placementsfor English Learners SDAIE Intensive or strategic interventions! Still English Learner, but in Mainstream 1 – 3 years      _______________________________________________________________________ No English Oral, social English CELDT Proficient Proficient for Academic work CST Basic I II III IV V

  43. Placements NOT designed for them….. • Placed/kept in classes with newcomer and normatively developing English Learners – by CELDT level • Unprepared teachers • No electives – and limited access to the full curriculum • Over-assigned and inadequately served in intervention and reading support classes

  44. Secondary school version….. • An EL is an EL is an EL  a struggling student is a struggling student is a ….. • “Mainstream” curriculum and classes • Perhaps ELD by CELDT level • Support classes, intervention classes (based on CST scores) that are designed for native English speakers and focused primarily on reading • CAHSEE prep • No electives • Difficulty fitting in A-G

  45. So far…from the LTEL research • Clearly defined EL program models (ELD plus access), consistently implemented • Consistency in placement and EL language approach (no ping-pong) • Importance of full academic curriculum • Strategies that promote student engagement as active learners • Importance of scaffolding instruction • No more “Interventions = EL Program” – especially interventions designed for native English speakers • No more “Mainstream = EL Program”

  46. Three converging forces Long-term English Learner Research The Common Core Standards X English Learner Research High leverage Instructional Strategies

  47. Building Block #4:Know the research, undo misconceptions that lead to harmful practices,

  48. New generation of research • National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children and Youth • California Department of Education: Research-based Practices for English Language Learners (commissioned papers)

  49. #1: Early childhood education makes a difference • Early years of development (cognitive, linguistic, social) are crucial • Quality preschool lays the foundation for better outcomes for children once they enter kindergarten • Preschool reduces disparities and longstanding achievement gaps between groups • Most powerful language policy/approach for preschool is primary focus on home language development

  50. So….. • Begin with preschool programs • Active outreach/recruitment to English Learner communities • Attention to supporting the transition from preschool into kindergarten • Articulation, alignment between the two systems (preschool and K-12)