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Contextual Effects of Bilingual Programs on Beginning Reading. Barbara R. Foorman, Lee Branum-Martin, David J. Francis, & Paras D. Mehta. Florida Center for Reading Research Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, & Statistics. Bilingual Program Effects in Context.

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contextual effects of bilingual programs on beginning reading

Contextual Effects of Bilingual Programs on Beginning Reading

Barbara R. Foorman, Lee Branum-Martin, David J. Francis, & Paras D. Mehta

Florida Center for Reading Research

Texas Institute for Measurement, Evaluation, & Statistics

slide2

Bilingual Program Effects in Context

  • We’re interested in reading achievement for English language learners, but studies point in opposite directions:
    • Intensive English (Baker, 1998; Rossell & Baker, 1996)
    • Primary language instruction (August & Shanahan, 2006; Greene, 1998; Willig, 1985)
  • Programs exist in contexts which differ:
    • schools and districts have different resources, policies, and attitudes
    • communities have different expectations, attitudes, and opportunities
slide3

How do we examine program effects in context?

Important Issues:

Bilingual = more than one language as input & output

Classrooms differ (multilevel)

Instruction differs, even within programs of the same name

Context effects may be more complex than simply mean differences.

Research questions:

What is the average performance of classrooms in these different programs & contexts?

What do the relations across outcomes suggest about stability & possible cross-language effects?

What is the impact of English-Spanish instructional language for these questions?

slide4

Participants & Measures

34 academically acceptable schools in border Texas & urban California/Texas.

First grade Spanish-speaking students (50% female) in English immersion & Spanish primary language programs.

Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery Passage Comprehension in fall & spring.

Classrooms were randomly observed 2-3 times per year for amount of Spanish-English instructional language used.

slide5

Passage Comprehension W scores

Grade 2

Urban Immersion

Grade 1.5

Border Immersion

Border Primary

Urban Primary

Border Primary

Grade 1

Urban Immersion

Border Immersion

Grade K

5

English

Spanish

slide6

Unilevel Correlations (wrong)

!

Moderate stability

Low to moderate cross-language relations

slide7

Multilevel Correlations

Student level: moderate stability,

positive cross-language relations

Classroom level: high stability,

heterogeneous relations

Immersion classrooms tend to reverse order by spring

Primary classrooms have no cross-language relation by spring

slide8

Classroom Instruction: Percent of English vs. Spanish

Border Immersion

Border Primary

n = 15

mean = 61

SD = 16

n = 38

mean = 27

SD = 21

Urban Immersion

Urban Primary

n = 38

mean = 72

SD = 20

n = 47

mean = 15

SD = 13

All Spanish

All English

All Spanish

All English

slide9

Conditional Multilevel Correlations

Classroom R2: instructional language sometimes predicts

High stability, except in Border Primary

Positive Spring relations, except in Border Primary

L1-L2 effect high in Border immersion

Interference in Border Primary?

slide10

Conditional on English Instruction: PC W scores

Grade 2

Urban Immersion

Urban Primary

Grade 1.5

Border Primary

Border Immersion

Urban Primary

Border Primary

Grade 1

Urban Immersion

Border Immersion

Grade K

English

Spanish

slide11

Implications

  • Why not just a regression or MANOVA?
  • Variances aren’t homogeneous. Students are not independent.
  • Program effectiveness & student ability effects:
  • for what outcome, at what level, & where?
  • Two languages, two outcomes
  • Classrooms differ
  • Instruction matters & differs even within program
  • Contexts (locales) differ in complex ways.
    • expectations of parents, teachers, community
    • resources & opportunities favor/hinder learning
  • Overall, student level correlations are highly consistent.
  • Classroom level is fairly homogenous, controlling for instruction.
  • building language skills works, regardless of language
  • observed differences are partially due to instruction, program, & locale.