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5 organizational elements to consider in the context of delivering effective instruction to adolescent newcomers. “ Do not promote language or content learning”. Systematic Support for Assessment and Placement Students Targeted Resources for Language and Literacy Instruction

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Systematic support for assessment and placement students

5 organizational elements to consider in the context of delivering effective instruction to adolescent newcomers. “Do not promote language or content learning”

  • Systematic Support for Assessment and Placement Students

  • Targeted Resources for Language and Literacy Instruction

    • Supporting teachers in ways that are directly relevant to students’ needs, rather than spreading resources across infrastructure, staff, materials, etc.

  • Extended Instructional Time

    • Year-round, summer and/or after school

  • Coordinated Efforts: Newcomers Programs, Programs for Advanced ELLs, and Mainstream Classes

    • Teachers must coordinate curriculum and instruction across newcomer programs, ESL/bilingual programs, and mainstream classes (i.e. International Schools)

    • Academic progress being tracked

  • Heterogeneous Grouping

    • Programs provide structured opportunities for newcomers to work with advanced ELL and native English Learners. (i.e. InternationalSchools)



The under representation of ells in charter schools
The Under-representation of ELLs delivering effective instruction to adolescent newcomers. in Charter Schools

META Issue Brief: Charter Schools & ELLs in Massachusetts

  • Charter schools often have little or no representation of ELLs in their student population, especially when compared to traditional public schools

  • Charter schools tend to have ELLs who are at the edge of proficiency

    Choice without Equity

  • November 2009 report, Equity Overlooked: Charter Schools and Civil Rights Policy, showed a critical lack of basic civil rights policy in state charter legislation

  • Patterns of charter school segregation: charter schools are overwhelmingly white (white flight from traditional public schools), black, or minority populations

  • Charter sector continues to stratify students by race, class, and possibly language - ELLs are seriously underrepresented in charter schools

  • This study (July 2010) released at a time of mounting federal pressure to expand charter schools, despite on-going and accumulating evidence of charter school segregation.


Week 9 charter schools and alternative programs
Week 9: Charter Schools and Alternative Programs delivering effective instruction to adolescent newcomers.

  • Frankenberg looks at how charters are serving students in light of the push for their expansion in recent times. The study of 40 states and the District of Columbia finds that charter schools create more isolation and segregation that traditional public schools. There four key findings are;

  • 1. While charter schools are increasing in number and size, charter school enrollment presently accounts for only 2.5% of all public school students

  • 2. Charter schools, in many ways, have more extensive segregation than other public schools. Charter schools attract a higher percentage of black students than traditional public schools, in part because they tend to be located in urban areas. As a result, charter school enrollment patterns display high levels of minority segregation, trends that are particularly severe for black students

  • 3. Charter school trends vary substantially across different regions of the country. Latinos are under-enrolled in charter schools in some Western states where they comprise the largest share of students. At the same time, a dozen states report that a majority of Latino charter students attend intensely segregated minority schools. Patterns in the West and in a few areas in the South also suggest that charters serve as havens for white flight from public schools

  • 4. major gaps in multiple federal data sources make it difficult to answer basic, fundamental questions about the extent to which charter schools enroll and concentrate low income students and English Language Learners (ELLs). Charter schools receive public funding and therefore should be equally available to all students regardless of background.

    Reference: Frankenberg, E., Siegel-Hawley, G., Wang, J. (2010). Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA


Systematic support for assessment and placement students

  • Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learners (Center on Instruction, 2006)

  • Recommendations on effective instruction

    • Use development perspective and assume that many skills are required for literacy

    • Six elements are essential regardless of the language of instruction: Content-based literacy, developing academic language, explicit instruction, writing for academic purposes, ongoing classroom assessment, and intervention in word-reading difficulties

  • Recommendations on organizational and institutional elements:

    • No particular conceptual framework was used but only pointed out factors that influence the effectiveness of instructional practices

    • No single “model” newcomer program

    • 5 elements: Systematic assessment, heterogeneous student grouping, extended learning hours, coordinated efforts across school system, and targeted resources

  • A big question still looms over the possibility of linking recommendations on effective instruction that are suggested to be important regardless of the language of instruction and the fact that the effective instruction are put outside of the context of students’ social and cultural background and context.


Academic language development as critical for adolescent newcomer success
Academic Language Development as Critical for Adolescent Newcomer Success

  • Many facets to academic language development: vocabulary knowledge (depth and breadth); ability to handle increasing word complexity and length over time; understanding of complex sentence structures/corresponding syntax of English, organization of texts, functions of transitions

  • Academic language development requires a systematic and concerted effort among all educators: all secondary classrooms must address language and literacy skills

  • Content-based approach for text comprehension: teachers evaluate students’ needs relative to content knowledge and content-specific language and literacy demands; they identify language and literacy challenges faced by ELLs and then set dual content- and language-focused learning objectives

  • Explicit, systematic, extensive, and intensive vocabulary instruction: teachers strike balance between providing direct teaching of word meanings in meaningful contexts and teaching word-learning strategies; teachers choose the words they teach thoughtfully and expose ELLs to those words in multiple meaningful ways; teachers incorporate vocabulary instruction into every lesson; vocabulary instruction emphasizes depth of knowledge, multiple word meanings, relations with other words, and different forms of words

Source: Francis, D. Rivera M., Lesaux, N., Kieffer, M., & Rivera H. (2006) Practical guidelines for the education of English language learners: Research-based recommendations for serving adolescent newcomers. Portsmouth, NH: RMC Research Corporation.