Collection of papers on english as a second language
Comprehensive Collection of Papers on English as a Second Language Dr. Patricia A. Alvara June, 2003
Table of ContentsQUESTION 1 3 Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research 5 Action Research 11 Case Studies 13 Experimental Designs 17 Surveys 20 The Crawford-slip Method 24 Cross-Impact Analysis 25 Scenario Planning 27 The Delphi Technique and Survey 29 Morphological Analysis 30 Trend Exploration 32 Conclusion 32 References 36QUESTION 2 43 Funding Newcomers Programs 54 Federal Regulations 56 Additional Research 59 Exemplar Newcomers Programs 60 Kenosha Unified School District 66 Conclusion 71 References 74QUESTION 3 80 The Bilingual Movement 80 Program Effectiveness 87 Conclusion 107 References 111QUESTION 4 121 Standardized Assessments 122 Advantages and Limitations 124 Standardized Tests and LEP Students 126 LEP Students and Language Levels 133 Alternative/Authentic Assessments 138
Conclusion 143 Appendix A 146 References 147QUESTION 5 152 Brain Research 153 The Brain and Language Acquisition 156 Classroom Instruction and Language Acquisition 161 SDAIE 177 CALLA 181 Conclusion 183 References 186QUESTION 6 191 Technology-based Learning Inception 194 Internet/Intranet-based Training 196 Web/Computer-based Training 198 Technology-based Learning and Education 200 Technology-based Learning Effectiveness 202 Technology-based Learning Limitations 204 Conclusion 206 Model Course Rationale 209 Model Course Access 211 References 212
QUESTION 1Compare action research, case studies, experimental designs, surveys, Crawford-slip method,cross-impact analysis, scenario planning, Delphi techniques and surveys, morphologicalanalysis, and trend exploration, which have been used to evaluate the effectiveness of languageassistance programs during the last decade. What methodologies are most effective forteachers’ usage? What methodologies might best be used for research in developing acomparative analysis of effective Sheltered English programs? Bilingual programs are currently being closely examined by many sectors of society, duein large part to the criticisms being directed at them from the media and several influentialorganizations. Effective bilingual programs require leadership to find answers to the calls forgreater accountability. Obtaining adequate research on bilingual and English as Secondlanguage (ESL) educational programs has been a long, arduous process due to the vastdifferences in these programs. Bilingual and ESL educational research is often skewed due tothe wide range of latitude among Federal requirements, which allow states to select the mosteffective programs for their limited English proficient (LEP) student population. State officials,educational agencies, and courts have further established mandated guidelines on educating,governing, and managing LEP students. The actual programs being offered can vary from stateto state, district to district, school to school, and classroom to classroom (Amrein & Pena, 2000;Hakuta, 2002). While the efficacy of language programs remains a widely debated topic in educational discourse, researchers agree that language programs do not exist within a vacuum, and that the benefits accrued by participating in these programs are likely to differ for individual students. (Amrein & Pena, 2000, p.2)
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 4Educational researchers, linguists, and bilingual educators such as Cummins (1999), Freeman(1996), and Hakuta (2002) have different perspectives on bilingual programs and theireffectiveness. Bilingual research is often tainted with program bias; this bias depends on theprogram of preference and study (Amrein & Pena, 2000). Limited English Proficient (LEP) is the legal term used to identify students who were notborn in the United States, or whose native language is not English, and those students whocannot participate effectively in regular classrooms because they lack fluency in spoken andwritten English (Department of Education-OCR, 1999). LEP is the term recognized by theOffice of Civil Rights (OCR), and the term used throughout this comprehensive paper to refer tothese students (Department of Education-OCR, 1999). Bilingual is a generalized term that refersto all programs other than English as a Second Language (ESL). In this paper, the termbilingual includes all Language Assistance Programs (LAP) offered within the Kenosha UnifiedSchool District: Dual Immersion, Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE), English as a SecondLanguage (ESL), and Sheltered English Immersion (SEI). Although ESL and SEI are notcommonly referred to as bilingual programs, they are the most commonly used methods ofinstruction for LEP students nationwide. “Bilingual education was initially implemented to address political, social, economical,and educational injustices; it instead remains a powerful instrument of mainstreaming minority-language students” (Akkari, 1998, p.1). These programs were created to address various issuesand to help bridge the educational gap. The definition of “bridging the achievement gap” in thiscomprehensive paper refers to increasing LEP students’ achievement in English languageproficiency-orally, in reading, and in writing, so that these abilities are shown to be more
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 5comparable to those of mainstreamed native English speaking students. Today, in virtually allgrade levels in all subjects, African American, Latino, and American Indian students perform farbehind others. As the Hispanic and LEP student populations continue to increase rapidly, theachievement gap continues to widen; this gap is due to the complexity of the issues surroundingthese students. “The gaps are so pronounced that in 1996, several national tests found African-American and Hispanic 12th graders scoring at roughly the same levels in reading and math aswhite 8th graders” (Johnston & Viadero, 2002, pp. 18-19). To clearly understand the future of bilingual education, researchers should examine thecurrent research and methodologies pertaining to SEI. Sheltered English Immersion can bebroken down into four types of programs: Submersion, ESL, Sheltered Immersion, andTransitional Bilingual Education (TBE). Today, available research on Sheltered EnglishImmersion (SEI) is minimal; however, it is now beginning to surface due to the passage of newlaws in California, Arizona, and Massachusetts and with the federal "No Child Left Behind Actof 2001.” These laws call for an organized effort to educate all children, regardless of theirability to speak and understand English. Limited data on SEI are due to the restrictions andlimitations placed on these programs by the federal government, which has made it ratherdifficult to implement SEI programs (Gersten, Taylor, Woodward, & Wite, 1997). Despite thechallenges, SEIs programs have become increasingly common in the United States, andparticularly in Canada, where the federal restrictions are absent (Gersten et al., 1997). Multiple research methodologies have been utilized in bilingual education as tools tounderstand this overwhelming process and even to bring about changes within the bilingualeducation arena. In this realm of education, the pendulum continues to swing and is continually
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 6being inundated with seemingly endless changes. The focus of this paper is to provide a briefoverview of the various types of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies that can beused in the development of a comparative analysis which will determine the effectiveness ofKenosha Unified School District’s SEI and Transitional Bilingual Educational programs (K-5) inmeeting its LEP students’ English language needs. More specifically, this paper will examineaction research, case studies, experimental designs, surveys, Crawford-slip method, cross-impactanalysis, scenario planning, Delphi techniques and surveys, morphological analysis, and trendexploration as methods of identifying the District’s Language Assistance Programs’(LAP)strengths and weaknesses. Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research Qualitative research incorporates a variety of methodologies that are often combined and/or overlapped, as in action research and case studies. Qualitative research is usually contrastedwith quantitative research. The focus of qualitative research is not on numbers but on words andobservations; stories, visual portrayals, meaningful characterizations, interpretations, and otherexpressive descriptions (Zikmund, 2000). Alternately, the purpose of quantitative research is todetermine the quantity or extent of some phenomenon in the form of numbers (Burnaford,Fischer, & Hobson, 2001; Gall, Borg, Walter, & Gall, 1996; Kerlin, 1999; Mc Bride & Schostak,2000; Meloy, 2002; The Qualitative Versus Quantitative Analysis, 2003; The Qualitative VersusQuantitative Debate, 2003).
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 7 Qualitative analysis is a process that is often the precursor to quantitative, statistical work; a process to make the tacit underpinnings of an issue explicit; a process you can use to deepen your understanding of complex social and human factors that cannot be understood with numbers; a process that helps you figure out what to count and what to measure. (Kerlin, 1999 p. 1) The focus of qualitative research is on words and observations, and may includestories, visual portrayals, meaningful characterizations, interpretations, and otherexpressive descriptions. Interviews are often used in qualitative research. Alternatively,quantitative research is used to determine the extent of some phenomenon in the form ofnumbers. Researchers Miles and Huberman, in Qualitative Data Analysis (2003), statedthe following: Qualitative data involve words and quantitative data involve numbers; there are some researchers who feel that one is better (or more scientific) than the other. Another major difference between the two is that qualitative research is inductive and quantitative research is deductive. In qualitative research, a hypothesis is not needed to begin research. However, all quantitative research requires a hypothesis before research can begin. (p.1) Qualitative research uses a combination of strategies to collect data: field observations,focus groups, intensive interviews, and/or case studies. In a qualitative study, the researcherconducts studies in the field, in natural surroundings, and tries to capture the normal flow ofevents without trying to control extraneous variables. Theories emerge as part of the researchprocess, evolving from the data as they are collected (Burnaford et al., 2001; Gall et al., 1996;Hill, 2000; Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000; Meloy, 2002; The Qualitative Versus QuantitativeDebate, 2003; Wimmer & Dominick, 1994). The design of a study evolves during the research
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 8and can often be adjusted or changed as it progresses, which is not a characteristic of quantitativeresearch. It may be an exploratory research study or a quantitative descriptive study. Adescriptive study seeks to answer those “what is?” or “what are?” questions, and data arecollected through numbers, words or both (Zikmund, 2000). In quantitative research, researchers conduct experiments, classify data, and constructmore complex statistical analysis in an attempt to explain what was discovered; although, aresearcher may conduct non-controlled quantitative studies such as descriptive, correlational, expost facto, and evaluation. Findings are generalized to a larger population, and directcomparisons are also made. This is one of the main disadvantages of using qualitative research;the results are not often extended to wider populations with the same degree of certainty as inquantitative analyses. The results of the research are not usually tested to determine if they arestatistically significant or due to chance (Burnaford et al., 2001; Gall et al., 1996; Kerlin, 1999;Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000; Meloy, 2002; The Qualitative Versus Quantitative Analysis, 2003;The Qualitative Versus Quantitative Debate, 2003). It could be argued that the quantitative researcher is more precise, but the response would be that with people it is not possible to be so precise, people change and the social situation is too complex for numerical description…Quantitative research has a tendency to clarify where clarification is not appropriate. (Mc Bride& Schostak, 2000, pp. 1-2)Quantitative data can determine when students have achieved or failed a task, and they canprovide national ranking, percentiles, and allow researchers to conduct comparison analyses.Nevertheless, they cannot provide the “total” picture of why a particular student has eithersucceeded or failed (Burnaford et al., 2001; Gall et al., 1996; Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000;
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 9Meloy, 2002; The Qualitative Versus Quantitative Analysis, 2003; The Qualitative VersusQuantitative Debate, 2003). Qualitative research has a phenomenological focus that can provide an enriched anddetailed description of the participants’ actions and/or viewpoints (Veronesi, 1997). Qualitativeresearch tends to incorporate a more humanistic approach. When conducting qualitativeresearch, one is often interested in determining the ‘whole’ picture; he/she is in search ofanswering the “why” questions (Burnaford et al., 2001; Gall et al., 1996; Kerlin, 1999; Mc Bride& Schostak, 2000; Meloy, 2002). The role of the researcher is also different when comparing qualitative and quantitativeresearch. In quantitative research, the researcher neither participates in nor influences what isbeing studied; thus, he/she examines the circumstances objectively. In some qualitative research,the researcher may play a more subjective role and participate by being immersed in his/herresearch. That is, the observer may be the teacher or the facilitator. This role is often the casewith when action research, case studies, and focus groups are used in educational research. In qualitative research, we seek to minimize the impact of our interventions, but also recognize that there are other ways in which we intervene…. Yet, we can have a pretty good idea that these may be helpful to us in certain situations. More importantly, we endeavor to ‘build theory’ from the ground of experience or practice. For qualitative researchers, the context in which practices takes place has important bearing upon that practice and research should be rooted accordingly. (Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000, p. 2) Therefore, both qualitative and quantitative research studies are valuable in the field ofeducation. Both may be utilized to understand the effectiveness of the various programs in
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 10place. In conducting a comparative analysis of Sheltered English Immersion programs,researchers may select a multi-method or mixed methods methodology by collecting quantitativeand qualitative data to be better able to identify the “total” picture of the research problem. Aqualitative observation may be used to watch the teachers in action, while a quantitative surveymay be given to teachers to assess effectiveness. For the purpose of this comprehensive paper,each type of assessment examined will be identified as qualitative, quantitative, or a combinationof both. Action Research Action research is a powerful qualitative research tool utilized in education. Educatorswho use this method of research observe carefully and reflect systematically. Observationaltechniques are used to improve their practice. Researchers then generate potential solutions tooriginal problems, implement a chosen intervention, assess the outcomes, and/or modify thesolution(s). Action implies the need for change and research implies a need to clarify or increaseunderstanding. Action research is an iterative research process in which the researcher developspolicy, brings about change, and/or promotes quality improvement within the educational realm.This type of research is a cyclical process that allows educators to create projects within theirclassrooms and modify them as needed (Burnaford et al., 2001; Knezevik, 2003; Mc Bride &Schostak, 2000). A group of English as Second Language (ESL) teachers may seek a collaborative changeand implement their research. The process may include a general plan of action needed forimplementation, the collection, and analysis of the data, and monitoring of these steps. The data
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 11may be reported using a variety of methods including: direct observation, surveys, ethnographicquestionnaires, journals, or various other artifacts. Researchers must check for the validity oftheir information, and determine whether the information gathered is transferable to the generalpopulation, or if it is limited to the practices studied (its external reliability). In addition toexternal reliability, researchers must examine the internal consistency of the methodology toensure that the research is free from bias and is ethical. In the area of data analysis, researchersneed to explain how data will be coded, will be identified, and/or determine how themes will betracked (Burnaford et al., 2001; Knezevik, 2003; Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000). A team, comprised of eleven teachers within the New York School District PS24/District15, collaborated with the Development and Dissemination Schools Initiative to conduct actionresearch. The team investigated how to improve instruction and other services for its LEPstudents by integrating its low-proficiency second language students into Interactive Read Aloudactivities. During its initial meetings, the team created and identified several possibleadjustments and described how it would begin to implement these strategies in its ESLclassrooms. The PS24 Action Research Team arrived at a consensus to implement sixinstructional strategies. Each teacher chose one new strategy to use in his/her classroom. Theprincipal then assigned a team liaison to observe and support the teachers during theimplementation. Additionally, the teachers were expected to keep a response journal. Theteachers met twice a month, after school, to report their progress; they discussed readingselections and reflected upon what was working or not working. During these meetings, theyalso determined how they would display the data. They agreed to use a written response in theform of journals to document their findings as a performance assessment. The final outcome of
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 12their action research left teachers still pondering how to improve instruction for their LEPstudents. The team discovered the strategies implemented in the classroom worked, but did notmeet the students immediate instructional needs. They felt their time would have been betterspent researching and investigating the following: How do classroom teachers get their LEPstudents to pass the state and district exams (D&D School Initiative, PS24, 2000)? Out of the eight action research projects generated through the Development andDissemination Schools Initiative website, not one project generated nor documented extensiveconclusions to warrant policy or strategic changes. In conducting a comparative analysis ofSheltered English Immersion programs, action research may be utilized to understand teachers’perceptions and attitudes towards their LAPs strengths and weaknesses. By collaborating,teachers may be able to identify the critical areas that need to be addressed, create a plan,implement the plan, and monitor it. Most importantly, the current research further speculatesthat for action research to be an effective and valid model of research for LAP improvementthere must be a critical analysis of the full results. Otherwise, a projects reliability and validitycannot be guaranteed (Burnaford et al., 2001 D&D School Initiative, PS24, 2000; Knezevik,2003; Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000). Careful planning and critical analysis of action researchmay result in a practical application of policy and strategic changes. The research design mustbe flexible enough to change directions or plan future research that addresses the needs of theLEP student population.
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 13 Case Studies Case studies are one of the most widely used forms of qualitative research in education.“Researchers generally do case studies for one of three purposes: to produce detaileddescriptions of a phenomenon, to develop possible explanations of it, or to evaluate thephenomenon” (Gall et al., 1996, p. 549). Robert Kirk and Jerome Miller define this type ofresearch as “watching people in their own territory and interacting” (cited in Gall et al., 1996, p.547). Case studies often involve a scientific approach, in which a hypothesis is studied, as areaction to a perceived limitation of qualitative research. Kimberly Hill (2000), author of Beyond the Numbers: A Case Study of the 1990 CensusPromotion Program and the Implications for Census 2000, stated that “Case studies are bestsuited for ‘how’ and ‘why’ research questions, when the researcher has no control overbehavioral events and wants to focus on contemporary events” (p.1). These types of qualitativestudies can investigate any phenomenon that interests the researcher within the participant’snatural setting; they are often conducted from the perspective of the participants. Thephenomenon under study can be identified as: a role, a process, an event, a concept, a person(s),a program, and/or a curriculum (Gall et al., 1996; Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000). “In conducting case studies, researchers collect intensive data about a particular instanceof a phenomenon, and they seek to understand each instance on its own terms and in its owncontext” (Gall et al., 1996, p. 541). According to these authors, case studies have fourcharacteristics: (1) the study of phenomena by focusing on specific instances, that is, cases; (2) an in-depth study of each case;
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 14 (3) the study of a phenomenon in its natural context; and (4) the study of emic [participant’s viewpoint] perspective of case study participants (p. 545). In a case study, data are collected and analyzed. The data collected can be in any formgathered over a given period of time and may include words, images, physical objects,quantitative data, narratives and/or interview transcripts. Kimberly Hill (2000) explained that acase study may use “as many data sources as possible to systematically investigate individuals,groups, organizations, or events, and is the best method when a researcher seeks to understand orexplain a phenomenon” (p.1). The methodology employed to examine the data vary according tothe needs of the researcher. “Case study researchers might begin a case study with one methodof data collection and gradually add or shift to other methods. Use of multiple methods to collectdata…can enhance the validity of case study findings through triangulation” (Gall et al., 1996, p.557). Researchers conducting case studies could use descriptions and explanations to attempt tobuild, describe, and conceptualize the phenomenon. Researchers may conduct a single–sitephenomenological case study by examining the attitudes and perceptions of an ESL teacher, his/her LEP students, colleagues, and principal towards an integrated curriculum or thematicteaching in an ESL classroom as a method of building LEP students’ academic contentknowledge. This single-site case study might examine the experiences, perceptions, andinteractions between the ESL teacher and his/her LEP students. The study may contribute to theunderstanding of why ESL teachers should use integrated curriculum to build academic contentknowledge and may provide an in-depth analysis of how an ESL teacher would implement andperceive teaching thematically. Data may be produced from interview transcripts, observations,
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 15journal entries, language assessments, and other documents to monitor and track the progress ofthe LEP students. Based on the data presented, researchers would search for themes and/orpatterns, which could be used to determine significant characteristics featured throughout thecase (Gall et al., 1996; Mc Bride & Schostak, 2000; Veronesi, 1997). A good depiction will provide a thick description…statements re-create a situation and as much of its context as possible, accompanied by the meanings and intentions inherent in that situation. The term thick description originated in anthropology and is referenced as a complete, literal description of a cultural phenomenon. (Gall et al., 1996, p. 541) Peter Veronesi (1997) conducted a case study called A Case Study of AlternativeAssessment: Student, Teacher, and Observer perceptions in a Ninth Grade Biology Classroom.In his qualitative descriptive case study, he examined the perceptions of a veteran biologyteacher and his ninth grade biology students towards alternative science assessments strategies.The methodology used was from a phenomenological perspective that described the experiencesof the participants within their own “complex, cultural setting” (p. 3). The purpose of the studywas to contribute to the understanding of implementing alternative science assessments byproviding an in-depth analysis of how the teacher implemented and perceived alternativeassessments. Data were derived from various sources such as interview transcripts, observationsand other artifacts. Analysis of the data was not intended to support or refute claims made in the name of alternative assessment. Rather, this study was intended to provide a vivid description of the situation studies and delineate potential implications for using alternative science assessments. (p. 2)
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 16Veronesi’s use of descriptions allowed him to be an “outside” observer; his descriptions mirroredthose of the participants rather than the researcher. The results described in this case study werenot conclusive, nor were they ever compared to those of other science teachers and/or classes. Experimental Designs Experimental designs are the most powerful quantitative research method used ineducation. This type of design is used to establish cause-and-effect relationships among two ormore variables. In order to be classified as an effective experiment, the research must beconducted in a rigorous manner in which the researcher tries to control confounding factors thatthreaten its internal and external validity. Controlled experiments in bilingual education arealmost impossible to conduct and often produce undesirable results (Meyers & Feinberg, 1992;Ramirez, Ramey, & Yuen, 1991). LEP students are seldom placed randomly in their languageprograms; all too often, these students have various language and academic abilities. The attrition rate contributes to the ineffectiveness of controlled experiments (Amselle &Chavez, 1997; Garcia, 2002; Kerper Mora, 2002; Meyers & Feinberg, 1992; Ramirez et al.,1991). “Attrition rates are high due to academic and behavioral difficulties. By sixth grade 43%to 68% of students transfer from the regular L1 [primary language] program. About 75% ofstudents who transfer out will repeat a grade” (Kerper Mora, 2002, p. 1). LEP students tend tobe transient; their high mobility rate may be due to the mere fact that LEP students are oftenplaced in bilingual classrooms until they reach a level of fluency; they are then reclassified or re-designated and placed into a mainstreamed classroom (Garcia, 2002). Once LEP students are
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 17reclassified or re-designated as fluent English proficient (FEP), school districts tend to halt themonitoring process of their FEP students (Amselle & Chavez, 1997). In bilingual education, researchers using experimental design will often disseminate a preand post language assessment and/or have a controlled group. Most often, this design method isused for used by the researcher to draw a specific causal conclusion. “If one concludes thatwhen a school follows approach X to bilingual education, the performance and achievement ofstudents will be Y…that X causes Y” (Meyers & Feinberg, 1992, p.19). Interventions may ormay not be controlled by the researcher. A critical problem encountered when implementing thistype of research is determining whether a change in the post-test is due to the treatment and notto extraneous variables. Confounding variables thus weaken the experiment (Gall et al., 1996;Meyers & Fienberg, 1992; The Qualitative Versus Quantitative Debate, 2003). Quasi-experiments are very much like the true experiment with the exception of subjectassignment; they are used when the effects of the secondary variables are not known but areassumed, such as the lack of random sampling in education because of legal and ethical issuespresented when working with students. That is, subjects have been found to be in certain groupsand are then studied; they are not assigned to different groups. Quasi-experiments use theory todetermine which factor needs to be ruled out as a possible alternative explanation for the effectsobserved. The design allows for more causal inferences than uncontrolled qualitativeobservational studies. Control is a critical factor in experimental design; experimental controldetermines the quality of the experiment, and can have a direct impact on the conclusions.Random assignment of treatments is used to control the validity of the study. In experimentalstudies (true vs. quasi-), the researcher attempts to tightly control the internal validity to the
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 18extent that he/she attempts to tightly control the circumstances of an experiment, thus limitingthe conditions to which he/she can generalize the study’s findings (Gall et al.,1996; Meyers &Fienberg, 1992; The Qualitative Versus Quantitative Debate, 2003). In 1990, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned the Governing Board of theNational Research Council to conduct a thorough investigative review of two major evaluationstudies of bilingual education. The project assignment was to review and assess themethodologies of data collection and analysis of the study entitled, The National LongitudinalStudy of the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Services for Language Minority Limited-EnglishProficient Students (nicknamed "The Longitudinal Study"). In 1983, researchers were asked tostudy the effectiveness of instruction for LEP students and compare the effectiveness of threedifferent instructional strategies in bilingual education. The three programs evaluated under thestudy were immersion, early exit, and late exit programs (Cummins & Genzuk, 1991; Meyer &Feinberg, 1992; Ramirez et al., 1991). The study revealed that LEP students’ services were not evenly distributedgeographically across states and districts. LEP students tended to be classified as “at-risk” andwere from lower social economical backgrounds than monolingual students were. The resultsindicated that LEP students performed below grade level as early as the first grade, yet inMathematics, their skills were superior. Most of the instruction was conducted in English or in acombination of the LEP student’s primary language (L1) and English. Program entrance andexit procedures were inconsistent among various school districts within the same state; therewere relatively no time limits on the amount of time a student could participate in bilingualprograms. Lack of qualified instructional staff was a critical problem as well (Cummins &
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 19Genzuk, 1991; Meyer & Feinberg, 1992; Ramirez et al., 1991). The most significant result fromthis study supporting SEI was that when a LEP student is ready to learn in English andinstruction is provided in English language arts, he/she showed greater achievement. The resultsof the study also affirmed that LEP students receiving ESL services exited their programs at afaster rate than those in primary language programs (Cummins & Genzuk, 1991; Meyer &Feinberg, 1992; Ramirez et al., 1991). The second study was entitled the Longitudinal Study of Structured English ImmersionStrategy, Early Exit, Late-Exit and Transitional Bilingual Programs (nicknamed The ImmersionStudy) and Ramirez, Ramey, and Yuen (1991) conducted it. The study compared theeffectiveness of two alternative programs- Structured English Immersion and late-exitTransitional Bilingual Education programs. The programs’ ultimate goal was to teach LEPstudents English. The panel reviewing this study suggested that the Immersion Study containedmany biases. The comparison groups were not from the same social economical groups,numerous parents received AFDC, and a marginal number received some form of preschooleducation. The results of the study determined that the programs and students studied were notcomparable (Meyer & Feinberg, 1992; Porter, 2000; Ramirez et al., 1991). One of the negative attributes addressed in this study was the high attrition rate of LEPstudents. The high attrition rate is not new in the educational realm. This is a critical area thatneeds to be addressed and is a major challenge to consider when conducting any type of study inbilingual education. A percentage of LEP students left the study once they were reclassified asFluent English Proficient or FEP; however, some students left not being fully proficient andothers transferred to other classes, schools, states, or even countries. Nearly one-half of the
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 20students left the study; therefore, the attrition rate was relatively high (Ramirez et al., 1991). Nofurther research was conducted to monitor the achievement of those LEP students who left theprograms (Meyer & Feinberg, 1992). Experimental design can be very rigorous and does showpromise for use by the Kenosha Unified School District to assess its Language AssistancePrograms utilized now and those of the future. Any proposed research study must be feasible,affordable, and ethical. Surveys Surveys are one of the most frequently used methods of gathering data for research ineducation. When used appropriately, surveys have many advantages. Surveys can play asignificant part in an organization’s comprehensive needs assessment by identifying areas forimprovement and issues that need to be explored. Surveys can be complex, time consuming andexpensive; yet, they allow one to gather critical data rapidly (Witkin & Altschuld; 1995).Schools utilize surveys because they are relatively easy to administer; they can easily bedisseminated in a variety of settings, and they offer additional opportunities for gatheringrelevant data. Surveys can be distributed in the classroom or sent home with students; they canbe returned in the same manner. Often, administrators will disseminate surveys to teachers,parents, and students as an alternative method of gathering information about the strengths andweaknesses of the school and/or a specific program (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Meyers &Feinberg, 1992; Gall et al., 1996).
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 21 “When the purpose of a study is to provide a systematic description of a large number ofprograms, institutions, or an individual, a case-study approach will simply not do… one way toreach the generalization is through sample surveys” (Meyers & Feinberg, 1992, p. 22). Surveysare a form of observational study in that they capture a collection of many cases (Witkin &Altschuld, 1995). “Observational studies are most naturally suited to drawing descriptiveconclusions or statements about how groups differ” (Meyers & Feinberg, 1992, p. 25). Inobservational studies, the researcher does not attempt to control the treatments but ratherobserves the treatments in a natural setting, and this can be true of surveys. Surveys are analyzedin a quantitative manner. When constructing a survey, researchers must carefully plan some critical aspects of thedesign before it can be considered valid. Researchers must consider the following: targetpopulation, sampling, and method of distribution, questionnaire design, item content, itemformat, scales, and data analysis (Meyers & Feinberg, 1992). Based on the consensus of the datacollected from the survey, the researcher is able to identify themes, trends or patterns and set his/her research agenda as needed. Feedback is measured through computation of the centraltendency of these themes or patterns (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Fienberg & Meyers, 1992; Gallet al., 1996). One major drawback of implementing surveys as a mechanism for gathering data is thatthey have become so commonplace. Often people will discard them without responding whichleads to a high attrition rate (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Gall et al., 1996; Meyers & Feinberg,1992). Because of the high cost of conducting surveys, Kenosha Unified School District beganusing enGauge, a web-based survey program, as a more effective way to survey its community
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 22(staff, parents, and students). EnGauge (2000) was designed to help school districts plan andevaluate their systemwide use of educational technology. Kenosha Unified hired enGauge tosurvey its community to determine if its technology integration is currently functioning wellwithin the District. Data gathered will help the District to formulate its technology goals in orderto improve student learning (Kenosha Unified School District, 2003). An example of a research study in which a survey was utilized as a viable method ofgathering information about the strengths and weaknesses of a specific program was illustratedby a study conducted in Massachusetts (2000). The survey was used to study the participation inand performance of Massachusetts’ LEP student population on the MassachusettsComprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). This study was the first reliable study to beconducted or published on LEP achievement in Massachusetts. In 1999, Massachusettsmandated that all students educated in the United States for three years or more participate in theMCAS assessment. This pioneer study compared LEP students’ achievement by district; it alsoreported on LEP participation and achievement (Beals, Peladino & Porter, 2000). The results of the survey concluded that the data collected by the MassachusettsDepartment of Education were flawed, and the results were very difficult to interpret. The datareported were said to be contradictory and inconsistent with the number of LEP students tested,and further investigation was required in order to determine the accurate results. LEP studentswho were in the United States less than three years were allowed to take their assessments in theSpanish/English version in Mathematics and Science. Eligible LEP students did not participatein the math and science portion of the assessments in more than half of the districts surveyed; in
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 23other cases, no scores were recorded. The assessment forms were not even properly marked toidentify whether or not these students tested in English and/or in Spanish (Beals et al., 2000). The results also indicated that Massachusetts’ schools must, in the future, analyze theLEP student population in the area of participation and performance. The MassachusettsDepartment of Education survey concluded that the department must do a better job at trackingthe progress of those school districts that have high academic performances and testparticipation. The results also indicated a need to further conduct qualitative studies ofclassrooms and observe those schools that have a higher participation in order to identifyeffective instructional strategies. In this case, qualitative assessment preceded the quantitativeassessment (Beals et al., 2000). Surveys will continue to play an important role in educationalresearch. KUSD is expected to continue to use the software program enGauge to assess theeffectiveness of its educational programs. The Crawford-slip Method The Crawford-slip method is much like the nominal group technique (NGT) utilized ineducation. It is a method utilized in strategic planning and is an effective way to establishconsensus on a specific topic or agenda from a group or committee desiring a way to gatherinformation on the future of educational institutions, educational programs, or policies(Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Koalaty Kid, 2002). Educational institutions employ this type ofstrategic planning in order to cope with a rapidly changing system. Due to the nature of changesin bilingual education, the Crawford-slip method is a valid method of obtaining information.
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 24 This type of data collection is a group technique in that it is a highly structured method ofcollecting data from a group or committee when the group has reached a consensus. The use ofgroups to gather critical information is the most widely used method for gathering facts, opinionsand data needed for meeting an organization’s agenda. Groups are ideally comprised of six toten people such as key members of organizations, experts, members of the community and/orparents. The purpose of these groups is to produce and prioritize a vast number of ideasgenerated by the topic, allowing the researcher(s) to identify easily recurring trends. It can alsobe used to brainstorm research ideas or as a tool in conducting a thorough needs assessment(Altschuld & Witkin, 1995). Utilizing the Crawford-slip method as a type of brainstorming process entails a group ofcommittee members responding to a question posed by the researcher(s). The questions areusually determined by carefully examining internal and external features of the educationalorganization. Rather than stating the groups’ ideas, members of a selected committee recordtheir thoughts on slips of paper or sticky notes. The slip of paper has neither a number nor a rankrecorded on it, and each idea is recorded on a separate piece of paper to facilitate analysis. Thefinal product reveals a common set of themes and/or patterns to further to be investigated(Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Koalaty Kid, 2002). The Kenosha Unified School District created a Five-Year Long Range Committee for itsLanguage Assistance Programs to explore the educational services offered to its LEP students.Using the Crawford-Slip method, the committee brainstormed ideas on how the District canbegin to comply with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Compliance Action Plan, and how tomeet future needs of the District’s growing LEP student population. These processes led the
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 25team members to explore further other research methods such as Cross-impact analysis andscenario development in order to strategically plan for the future trends. Cross –Impact Analysis Cross-impact analysis attempts to reveal the conditional probability of an event, giventhat various events have or have not occurred (Hackett, Morrison, & Teddlie, 1982). Thismethod allows researchers to build an understanding of the vast amounts of information gatheredand helps them analyze the trends and/or patterns that determine how they affect one another.Using cross-impact analysis allows researchers to incorporate various trends or variables, bothqualitative, and quantitative in the analysis. This type of research relies on few assumptions andis relatively easy to comprehend (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Cross Impact Matrix,http:www.iit.edu; Hackett et al., 1982). Cross-impact analysis may be conducted in four steps. First, the committee usesbrainstorming techniques to identify approximately twenty key concepts or themes that mayaffect the future of an organization. Then the committee or facilitator places these trends orthemes in a matrix that is predetermined. Third, the matrix is then compared by each row entryand column entry. Finally, the matrix is analyzed to determine new trends. When analyzing thedata, the committee and researchers investigate patterns or events that may affect areas positivelyor negatively. This process should be conducted several times in order to assure its validity(Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Cross Impact Matrix, http:www.iit.edu; Hackett et al., 1982).Developing trends that will have a high probability of affecting the original concerns are singled
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 26out. A cross-impact analysis may reveal future trends or themes. The limitation of using across-impact analysis is that it may produce isolated themes or trends (Altschuld & Witkin,1995; Cross Impact Matrix, 2002; Hackett et al., 1982). In a study called Developing Public Education Policy through Policy Impact Analysis(1982) the authors, Hackett, Morrison & Teddlie, attempted to illustrate how cross-impactanalyses can be developed to create or change policies to attain outcomes for the future ofeducation in Louisiana. This research was conducted with a four-step process: monitoring,forecasting, goal setting and cross-impact (policy analysis) implementation. The created policieswere ranked to determine their impact. Those trends that were ranked as priorities wereimplemented and evaluated. The process was repeated to further refine policies. In the monitoring stage, the variables were determined and a database was created. In theforecasting stage, exploratory techniques were used to analyze trends and themes. Qualitativeand quantitative techniques were used to gather information necessary during this stage. Thequalitative and quantitative data gathered were obtained from school enrollment forms and wereused to project enrollment trends. In the goal-setting stage, exploratory forecasting wasconverted into desirable futures, which lead to the construction of new schools andimplementation of new programs. Matrices were created in the policy analysis andimplementation stage, thus allowing the local school boards to evaluate, implement new policies,and/or change old policies (Hackett et al., 1982).
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 27 Scenario Planning Scenario planning is both a qualitative and a quantitative approach that empowersparticipants to break traditional barriers and stereotypes often found in research and creates anorganization’s vision in the future. Scenario planning originated nearly thirty years ago fromRoyal Dutch Shell, a company that experienced tremendous success in foreseeing the Arab oilembargo (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Katz, Genesee, Gottlieb, & Malone, 2001). Scenarioplanning creates a vision that expresses a multifaceted perspective of complex events andfacilitates ongoing learning and strategic conversation, which supports effective growth andchange. “A good scenario planning project expands leaders; peripheral vision and forces them tochallenge their own assumptions” (College of Marian, 2002, p. 1). This methodology can be anintellectually challenging exercise that promotes dialogue among colleagues who want tocollaborate to create a vision, an analysis, and/ or a plan of action that allows them to work moreeffectively together (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Katz et al., 2001). Scenario planning provides an opportunity for futuristic planning in and predictingprecisely how the future will play out. An excellent decision or strategy is one that plays outwell across several possible scenarios. These scenarios identify trends, which have an infinitenumber of possibilities, or situations that may lead to attaining better decisions and/or outcomes.“The careful analysis of a particular scenario often allows for a rich contextual picture ofsurrounding of some activity or event of interest” (Meyers & Feinberg, 1992, p. 21). Once thesetrends have been identified, quantitative data are analyzed to address various situations
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 28portrayed, including social, economic, political and technological issues (Altschuld & Witkin,1995; Katz et al., 2001). Every field has its own pattern for these types of studies, and bilingual education is noexception. Because the future of education is unpredictable, scenario planning provides analternative method to reach a qualitative research goal by providing a common vocabulary andeffective ways for communicating complex ideas and/or concepts. In education, it is utilized as away to define a vision statement, an instrument for instruction, and/or an assessment (Altschuld& Witkin, 1995; Borjesson, 2002; College of Marin, 2002; Katz et al., 1997; Smith, 1996;Wilkinson, 1998). Kenosha Unified School District (2003) created its vision statement for its LAPs byincorporating the Crawford-slip method and cross-impact analysis; this process led to scenarioplanning. Themes or patterns that emerged from these sessions allowed the committee toformulate a five-year action plan, and enabled the District to plan more effectively and adaptmore readily to what was actually happening within the District’s LAPs. The five-year planenabled the District to investigate areas needing improvement. The committee wanted toanticipate what could happen in the future; as a result, it created proposals through scenarios totest their resiliency. Members voted on the ranking of the scenarios and brainstormed tactics toimprove the programs. The committee suggested developing new programs to better serve itsLEP students as well as explore viable alternative program options (KUSD Five-Year LongRange Committee, 2003).
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 29 The Delphi Technique and/or Survey The Delphi technique and/or survey are common data collection tools suitable forgathering pertinent data for a variety of dimensions in educational research. The Delphitechnique was developed in the 1950s by researchers from The Rand Corporation. “The Delphioperates on the principle that several heads are better than one" (Ludwig, 1997, p. 1). TheDelphi technique and survey utilize a methodology that combines qualitative and quantitativedata to explore futuristic designs in order to make appropriate and reasonable changes within anorganization. The Delphi technique and survey are two different approaches to data collection. In the 1980s, the Delphi technique continued to grow and was implemented in mosteducational realms, particularly in the area of defining curriculum and instruction. The Delphitechnique is used repeatedly to seek answers to pertinent educational issues. The Delphitechnique is implemented within a group setting and the goal is to reach group consensus. Theresearchers must determine the purpose of the Delphi Technique. They then identify theparticipants or panel, which is typically comprised of fifteen to twenty participants but usually nomore than fifty. Then the researcher proceeds to contact participants. In this Delphi groupprocess, people provide written responses to questionnaires. Using the Delphi technique ingroup settings requires many modifications and also requires the researcher to score and processthe results rapidly. It is not used as often as the mailed Delphi survey (Altschuld & Witkin,1995; American Policy Organization, 2003; Ludwig, 1997; Rosenbaum, 1991). The Delphi survey is a prediction tool that uses an iterative survey process over aspecific time frame (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; American Policy Organization, 2003; Ludwig,
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 301997). Like other data collection techniques, the Delphi survey has three steps: planning,carrying out the survey, and following up with the data collected. In the planning stage of thesurvey, the committee must repeatedly review and rate items; this is a unique feature of theDelphi process, which makes it a complex design to implement. The survey is developed,mailed, and the data are collected. After the data are collected, the researcher analyzes the dataor creates another survey based on the responses of the first survey; then a second survey ismailed to participants. This cyclical process is repeated to determine the need for further datacollection. Based on the consensus of the data collected from the survey, the researcher is ableto identify themes, trends or patterns and set his/her research agenda as needed. Feedback ismeasured through computation of the central tendency of these themes or patterns. In theeducational setting, a Delphi survey would be easy to administer (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995;American Policy Organization, 2003; Ludwig, 1997; Rosenbbaum, 1991). The Kenosha UnifiedSchool District’s KUSD Five-Year Long Range Committee (2003) is currently using the Delphisurvey process to request pertinent data from staff members to evaluate and improve its languageassistance programs. Morphological Analysis Morphological analysis is often used in conjunction with a relevance tree, which is ananalytic technique that allows one to subdivide trends into smaller topics. In education, it is usedto identify new program opportunities and involves the mapping of overall solutions andconstructing scenarios. This method is a systematic approach to seek structure out of current and
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 31future states of a particular organization, creating new alternatives to bridge the gaps that arepresent in the programs. By mapping the researcher’s perspective and future possibilities, aformulation of the problem is created. The researcher defines and examines all thecharacteristics of the problem. He/she proceeds to construct a multidimensional matrix thatcombines patterns to illustrate the possible solutions. Based on the information gathered, anevaluation of all possible outcomes is conducted and the researcher conducts an in-depth analysisof the best possible solutions. The primary purpose of the morphological analysis is to organizerelevant information in an orderly way (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995; Gordon, & Raffensperger,1973; Mind Tools, 2002). Morphological analysis is also an identification process used in Applied Linguistics, inwhich the researcher seeks to derive meaning of a word-stem from a full word; this is referred toas the identification of syntactic of a stem of a word. To effectively utilize this form of analysis,the researcher must be able to manipulate spelling rules for affixes. In the past fifteen years,applied linguists have made further advances in the area of morphological analysis by bridgingthe gap between real-life applications in natural language and processing through technology.Because this is not a historical comparison analysis comparing various languages, there will beno further inquiries into these types of methodologies (Gazdar, 1989).
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 32 Trend Exploration Trend exploration is a method of determining alternative futuristic outcomes by graphingextended data in relation to their influences on one another; it is often utilized in strategicplanning in conjunction with cross-impact analyses and scenario planning. The data gathered arederived from existing historical documents readily available in which the researcher analyzes andinvestigates historical trends or themes. He/she then proceeds to compare the historical data tothe organization’s concerns in order to interpret the information and draw conclusions. “Ineducation, there is a strong movement to use educational indicators and to link them in a waythat they show the complexity of schooling so that they can be used to form policy making”(Altschuld & Witkin, 1995, p. 232). Trends are plotted and placed in a matrix whereassumptions can be illustrated to show underlying trends. If trends are evident, the researcherthen must evaluate the data to determine if there are enough historical data that may define thistrend. The researcher proceeds to plot the trend; this action is carried out with descriptivestatistics (Altschuld & Witkin, 1995). Conclusion Regardless of one’s opinion regarding bilingual education, clearly more research isneeded in this field. “Real studies are needed on the effectiveness of English languageinstruction” (Porter, 1997, p.31). Linguistic experts contend that it is now time to begin to put
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 33aside difference amongst LAPs (Amrein & Pena, 2000). Schools are continuously failing tomeet various LEP students’ academic needs. The previously discussed research methodologies(qualitative and quantitative) provide school districts with sufficient ways to collect data in orderto determine the effectiveness of their language assistance programs. Districts are required totake “appropriate action” to ensure their LEP students have equal access to the curriculum. Theprograms must be based on “sound educational theory” and be adequately staffed. Schooldistricts are mandated to evaluate their programs and to ensure that they are meeting the needs ofLEP students, while complying with federal mandates. However, the guidelines are minimal andvague; districts are granted the freedom to adopt any evaluation approach. Action research and case studies provide school districts and researchers a way to reflectupon what is working within the schools and use data to implement changes that have beenproven effective in meeting the needs of LEP students. It can be a starting place to helppredetermine what changes need to take place immediately. School districts can use actionresearch and case studies as a way to examine effective teaching strategies and/or innovations inbilingual education. Educators and researchers recognize the need to have an in-depthunderstanding of the policies, programs, and practices that lead to successful innovations inbilingual education. Further, they desire a greater understanding of how these innovations inprograms, policies, and practices are implemented in different school districts. Approaches toreforming bilingual education in one school district may be very helpful to educators elsewhere(Burnaford et al., 2001). School districts and researchers must begin to conduct quantitative comparativelongitudinal studies within their schools. They need to conduct these studies by comparing the
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 34language programs offered to its LEP students and evaluate the programs’ effectiveness.Because the available research tends to compare school districts against school districts, andprograms against programs, it is often irrelevant due to the mere fact that each school district hasits own unique circumstances. One program is not the answer because every state and schooldistrict has its own set of standards and benchmarks. Language programs need to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis as their success is largely affected by the context in which the language program is developed. Further, researchers indicate that micro-level and macro-level issues related to planning and implementation must be examined to understand how the sociopolitical context of schools may favor or impede…language programs’ success…. (Amrein & Pena, 2000 p. 2)The National Research Council concluded after reviewing programs of the past 25 years, “Thereis little evidence to support which program is best. The key issues are not finding a program thatworks for ALL children and localities, but finding a set program that works for the community ofinterest” (Crawford, 1997, pp. 27-28). A one-size-fits-all curriculum does not take into accountthe variations of the LEP student population within a community; stipulating set conditions onwhat programs to teach and what to implement disregards the individual needs of LEP studentssuch as age, maturity, language skills, previous home-country schooling, learning styles, andother issues unique to LEP students. Through observational studies and quantitative analysis,school districts can monitor their LEP students who have left the program, those who have beenre-designated as fluent English proficient, and those students who are refused services. Thisinformation may lead to a better understanding of the education life of LEP students after theyare mainstreamed into general education classes (Legge, 1998).
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 35 Today, researchers are in agreement that the decision to implement which of type ofbilingual programs should be left up to the community, the parents of the LEP students, theschool districts, and the states to decide. Districts can use surveys, the Crawford-slip method,cross-impact analysis, scenario planning, Delphi technique and/or survey, morphologicalanalysis, and trend exploration as methods of identifying their district’s language assistanceprograms’ needs and to determine their programs’ individual strengths and weaknesses. Theseprocesses will allow the educational community to share practices and to seek ways to improveLEP students’ opportunities. The trends developed from these qualitative and quantitative techniques allow theresearcher to emphasize what needs to be changed, while building on the experiences, insights,and sound educational practices. By incorporating these research techniques, the researcher isable to reflect upon the immediate needs of the community. Despite the outside educationalsources that may be plaguing our schools, every school district, school, administrator, teacher,student, and parent must be held accountable for their LEP students’ progress. Districts who donot evaluate their LAP’s are in direct violation of limited English proficient students’ civil rights(Crawford, 1997, pps. 27-28). Not only is it the ethical thing to do, but it is also illegal not toevaluate the programs and make appropriate changes. Only through evaluations can appropriatechanges can be instituted; this process will lead to a better education for all LEP students.
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Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 43 QUESTION 2Analyze how Newcomers programs are funded and supported (local, state and/or federal). Whattheoretic constructs can be drawn from these funded programs in developing a NewcomerCenter Program for the Kenosha Unified School District? Currently the United States population is estimated to be 287 million people, and foreign-born immigrants represent over 10 % of the entire population (Krashen, 2001; World PopulationData Sheet, 2003). Forty percent of new immigrants are children; one out of five children in theUnited States is either an immigrant or a child of immigrants (Viadero, 2000). According to the American Civil Liberties Union, since the founding of the United States, more than 55 million immigrants from every continent have settled in the U.S. Indeed, with the exception of Native Americans, everyone in the nation is either an immigrant, or the descendent of voluntary or involuntary immigrants. (Pathways, Immigrant Education, 2002, p.1) Within a decade, this student population has nearly doubled (Hakuta, 2001). In the1990s, the number of children of immigrants exceeded 5 million, representing over 150 differentlanguages (Friedlander, 1991). The 5 most prominent language groups being serviced in U.S.public schools are: Spanish (72.9%), Vietnamese (3.9%), Hmong (1.8%), Cantonese (1.7%) andCambodian (1.6%) (ELLKBase, 2002). Seventy-five percent of all immigrants and/or limitedEnglish proficient (LEP) students come from highly impoverished areas (Hakuta, 2001). Limited English Proficient (LEP) is the legal term used to identify students, who were notborn in the United States, or students whose native language is not English, and those studentswho cannot participate effectively in regular classrooms because they lack fluency in spoken andwritten English(Department of Education-OCR, 1999). LEP is the term recognized by the Office
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 44of Civil Rights (OCR), and the term used throughout this comprehensive paper to refer to suchstudents (Department of Education-OCR, 1999). Non English Proficient (NEP) is the legal termused to identify students who are recent arrivals (immigrant-status) and have been in the UnitedStates less than one year. NEP students native language is not English, and they cannotparticipate effectively in regular classrooms because they lack fluency in spoken and writtenEnglish. NEP is the term recognized by the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), and the term usedthroughout this comprehensive paper to refer to such students (Department of Education-OCR,1999). Bilingual is a generalized term that refers to all programs other than English as a SecondLanguage (ESL). In this paper, the term bilingual includes all Language Assistance Programs(LAP) offered within the Kenosha Unified School District, and unless otherwise stated, itincludes the following programs: Dual Immersion, Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE),English as a Second Language (ESL), and Sheltered English Immersion (SEI). Although ESLand SEI are not commonly referred to as bilingual programs, they are the most commonly usedmethods of instruction for LEP students. “Over the past two decades, America’s classrooms have undergone an unmistakablemetamorphosis” (Friedlander, 1991, p. 1). There is seldom a school district, whether rural orurban, that has not been affected by this influx of newly arrived immigrant students (Crawford,1997; Hakuta, 2001; Krashen, 2001). “More than 40% of LEP students in the United States areenrolled in rural schools” (Berube, 2002, p. 1). Today, there are over 8.6 million childrenenrolled in U.S. schools, and nearly 40 % require English language assistance, including thefollowing subgroups: 3.2 million students identified and/or classified as being LEP; 1.3 millionLEP students enrolled in state and local bilingual programs nationwide; and 900,000 LEP
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 45students receiving language services funded by federal, state, and local bilingual educationprograms and/or through Title VII funding (Krashen, 2001). Title VII helps to ensure that LEPstudents have an equal opportunity to learn challenging content and high-level skills that areexpected of all students (Crawford, 1997). However, there remain over 640,000 LEP studentswho are not being serviced through any type of language programs (Krashen, 2001). Large states, such as California, Florida, Texas, and New York, have historicallyabsorbed the brunt of the immigration expansion. Smaller states, such as North Carolina, arealso experiencing tremendous growth (Berube, 2002). The LEP population of Californiarepresents 50% of all LEP students in the United States (Hakuta, 2001). In 1980, the LosAngeles Unified School District (LAUSD) reported about 110,000 students with 87 differentlanguages, costing the district $46 million to educate. In two decades, that number increased toover 1.4 million LEP students and/or NEP students reported by LAUSD (Hakuta, 2001).Recently, New York City public schools enrolled more than 176,000 LEP students, of whom90% were recent immigrants (Brown, 2000). In Princeton, New Jersey, 99 % of its newlyarrived immigrant students are Hispanics and come from agricultural backgrounds. In St. Louis,Missouri and Des Moines, Iowa, school officials are enrolling immigrant LEP students fromcountries as divergent as Vietnam, Iraq, Haiti, and Mexico. Many school districts are enrollingstudents from Bosnia and Somalia who have never attended school before (Brown, 2000;Crawford, 1997; Duignan, 2001; Hakuta, 1998, 2001; Legge, 2000; Midwest Equity AssistanceCenter, 1997). Hawaii’s public schools are experiencing an increase in the enrollment of students from Micronesia. The latest data from the Hawaii Department of
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 46 Education’s (HIDOE’s) English for Second Language Learners (ESLL) Program show that 13 % of the state’s total English as a Second Language (ESL) student population, or 1,671 students, come from the Freely Associated States (FAS): the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM – Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), and the Republic of Palau (ROP). They represent a region that is not well known but that is vastly diverse linguistically, culturally, and geographically. (Heine, 2003, p. 1) Wisconsin public schools have also experienced a drastic expansion of LEP students(Pabst, 2001). As of 2001, Wisconsin public schools provided an education for over 27,000 LEPstudents in 170 school districts, with Spanish and Hmong speakers accounting for the largestnumber of new students (Wisconsin DPI, 2001). Milwaukee Public Schools, the largest schooldistrict in the state, has had an increase of LEP students, while their monolingual studentpopulation decreased (Pabst, 2001). In 2002-2003, Kenosha Unified School District, also knownas "the District", the third largest school district in Wisconsin, enrolled over 21,000 students.The District’s LAPs consist of a Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) program (K-5), a pull-outEnglish as a Second Language (ESL) program (6-12), Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE)program in K-12, and a Dual Immersion Program (Spanish/English) in K-5 (KUSD, 2003). TheDistrict offered its LAP services to over 1,300 LEP students at all grade levels. Enrollment datawere retrieved from Wisconsin’s “Third Friday in September Enrollment Count.” As of March2003, the District identified and assessed an additional 700+ LEP students due to the "No ChildLeft Behind Act of 2001.” The District has continuously enrolled ten to fifteen new LEPstudents per month (KUSD, 2003). School districts, administrators, and teachers are facing a multitude of barriers whendealing with this influx of immigrant NEP students, when compared to past immigrants, and are
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 47struggling to meet their student population’s unique needs. “Every individual and new group ofimmigrants bring with them their own sets of needs or priorities that must be taken intoconsideration in a case-by-case manner by school districts, administrators and teachers”(Friedlander, 1991, p. 3). Today, most of the nearly 27 million new immigrants come from LatinAmerica, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Additionally, most of the newcomers speakSpanish, but native speakers of many other languages, including Mandarin, Pilipino, Russian,Haitian Creole, Polish, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Hmong, and Hindi, are also prevalent. In fact, overhalf of the language programs enroll students from four or more different native languagebackgrounds (Short, 1998). This new wave of immigrant students is generally having a more difficult time adjustingto regular school settings. Today’s new immigrants are coming from a variety of educationalrealms. Some come from well-educated families with great expertise and knowledge, whileothers come from areas where they received little to no educational support. A large percent ofthese immigrants are from non-English speaking countries where access to formal education islimited. Numerous newly arrived immigrant students are virtually illiterate and/or have receivedless than their age-appropriate education in their native language (Friedlander, 1991). Regardless of the conditions that brought them to this land, almost all newcomers have in some way been affected by the immigrant experience. Most of these young people have felt alienation, loneliness or an undermining of their sense of self-confidence in the face of a strange new world. (Friedlander, 1991, p. 3) Many immigrants have never attended school in their home countries, and/or may havehad limited schooling that may have been interrupted by traumatic events in their lives.
Comprehensive Paper for (Patricia A. Alvara) 48Immigrants flee their countries for several reasons: religious/political conflicts, extreme poverty,and/or lack of opportunity. Immigrant students may have experienced hardships that mostAmerican students have never experienced and may bring unforeseen emotional "baggage" to theclassroom. This knowledge requires that the students new home schools, administrators, andteachers be equipped with additional resources to help their immigrant students overcome theiroften horrific past experiences (The Midwest Equity Assistance Center, 1997; Viadero, 2000).Meanwhile, other immigrant students may experience some difficulties in understanding the U.S.grading system(s), social customs, and other complexities of the American school system. Allnew immigrants experience some degree of "culture shock." Culture shock describes the anxietya person feels when he/she moves to a different place; the term expresses the lack of direction, orfeeling of not knowing “what” or “how” to do things in a new environment. Newcomer studentswho experience culture shock may not know what is appropriate or inappropriate inside andoutside the classroom (Guipana, 1998). Older NEP immigrant students at the middle and high school levels are experiencinggreater difficulty adjusting to U.S. public schools in comparison to elementary students(Schwartz, 1996). Newcomer students at the secondary level range in age from ten to twenty-two years and come from many language backgrounds (Short, 1998). They face greaterchallenges when learning a second language due to neurological developmental periods, whichfavor quick language acquisition by younger children (Schwartz, 1996). The older students areexpected to read and comprehend textbooks, and to learn complex subject matter that requires amore sophisticated use of the English language (termed "academic English"). Further, they are