Creating a Research-Based Program for ESL


Which programs work and which ones do not? This question is often not asked in district and school ESL programs. All too often, schools resort to pull-out or push-in models, which often result in less than desired achievements in content language and concepts. Read about research on dual language programs and how they can improve English and content skills at


Does English-Language-Learner Classification Help or Hinder Students?


A study answers that it helps them at Excerpt:

Designating early elementary students who are close to being proficient in English as English-language learners can have “significant and positive effects on the academic achievement” of the students, new research concludes.

The study concludes that additional support that students receive as English-learners helps foster higher achievement in language arts and mathematics than students who were on the cusp but were identified as initial English-proficient students—and, as a result, did not receive the extra services.

PD Presentation Corner: Data Driven Decision-Making in ESL Program Administration


Important for all ESL teachers and administrators overseeing ESL programs. Find the presentation at

ESL Corner: Study Tracks Progress of English Learners





About two-thirds of kindergarten EL students knew and used minimal English when they entered school: 49% of the kindergarten EL students placed at the lowest English language proficiency (ELP) level at entrance to school (ELP Level 1), and an additional 19% placed at ELP Level 2. About 32% of the kindergarteners placed at ELP Levels 3, 4, 5, or 6.

​The percentage of students who were more proficient in English at school entry increased across cohorts between 2008–09 and 2011–12: 27% of students in the 2008–09 cohort placed at ELP Level 3 or above, compared to 41% of students in the 2011–12 cohort.

​ Almost 60% of kindergarten EL students achieved English proficiency within four years of starting school. By the end of first grade, 12% of the ELs who had entered in kindergarten had achieved English proficiency, and an additional 17% were proficient by the end of second grade. By the end of third grade, an additional 30% had reached English proficiency.

Some groups of students were more likely than others to achieve proficiency within four years. English proficiency rates were higher among female students and students who were not identified with a disability. Relative to Spanish speakers, students who spoke Arabic, Chinese, Khmer, or Vietnamese were more likely to achieve English proficiency within four years.

Students who were more proficient in English when they entered school were more likely to reach proficiency within four years: 53% of students who entered at ELP Level 1 reached proficiency within four years, compared to 62% and 68% of students who entered at ELP Levels 2 and 3, respectively.

More students became proficient in oral language than in literacy. Within four years, 81% of kindergarten ELs were proficient in oral language, compared to 63% in literacy. A key driver of the lower proficiency rate in literacy is writing, with a 48% proficiency rate.

The full report can be downloaded at


ESL Programs and Para Educators


How important are they and how can they best be utilized?  Read more in Paraprofessionals often an untapped source of bilingual teachers, studies show at

How to ensure your EAL learners are making progress


Discussing the following areas:

  • Language development
  • Sociocultural development
  • Academic development
  • Cognitive development
  • Change the terminology


ESL Info: Starting Newcomers on the Right Foot


A practical set of ideas from a teacher:

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