Reading Achievement Among English Language Learners

Kindergarten students in the classroom smiling

This study follows a single cohort of students from kindergarten through fifth grade, tracking reading growth.

With a growing student population of English language learners from diverse backgrounds, the Houston Independent School District offers a range of language acquisition programs to serve Spanish-dominant English Language Learners in elementary school, including bilingual programs in the form of transitional late-exit, one-way developmental, and two-way bilingual immersion. Looking at the Spanish and English reading benefits associated with these four language acquisition approaches, this study takes into account differences in student background characteristics, including family economic standing, student immigrant status, gender, and age at school entry, students’ initial English instructional rating, bilingual program exposure (in years), and factors associated with school context.

Following a cohort of English language learner kindergarteners from 2007–08 through 2012–13, this study examines two student reading outcomes: Spanish-language reading growth on the Aprenda 3 assessment from kindergarten through grade 3, and average English-language reading achievement in grade 5 using the Stanford 10 test. 

Photo: Laurie Sullivan

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