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The Effect of an English Language Learner Program on Student Achievement Outcomes in Language, Reading, and Math

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Jennifer L Reid
Abstract:
The purpose of the study was to determine the reading, math, and language proficiency outcomes of 4th-grade through 7th-grade students with limited English proficiency following nearly two years or more of instruction in the English Language Learner Program (ELL) and concurrent general education studies. The maximum accrual for this study was students (N = 31) participating in the research school districts English Language Learner Program. The independent variables for this study were three student groups representing students who were identified as limited English proficient and who had participated in the ELL Program and general education program. Study participants in the first arm ( n = 4) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the ELL Program was at the beginning level (Levels 1 and 2). Study participants in the second arm (n = 10) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the ELL Program was at the intermediate level (Level 3). Study participants in the third arm (n = 17) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the advanced level (Levels 4 and 5). The results of the study supported the effectiveness of the ELL Program and concurrent general education studies in successfully preparing students to participate meaningfully in the general education program. Used with other research concerning effective programs for English learners, this study can help inform practitioners in planning and implementing successful ELL programs in local districts.

vi Table of Contents Abstract ii Acknowledgements iv Table of Contents vi List of Tables ix Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Purpose of the Study 3 Research Questions 3 Assumptions 6 Delimitations of the Study 6 Limitations of the Study 7 Definition of Terms 8 Significance of the Study 11 Contribution to research 12 Contribution to practice 12 Contribution to policy 13 Organization of the Study 13 Chapter 2: Review of Literature 14 Accountability 15 Second Language Acquisition 23 Program of Services 33 Instructional Practices 41 Conclusion 47

vii Chapter 3: Methodology 49 Participants 49 Number of participants 49 Gender of participants 49 Age range of participants 49 Racial and ethnic origin of participants 50 Inclusion criteria of participants 50 Method of participant identification 50 Description of Procedures 51 Research design 51 Implementation of the Independent Variables 53 Dependent Measures 54 Research Questions and Data Analysis 54 Data Collection Procedures 65 Performance site 65 Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the protection of Human Subjects Approval Category 65 Chapter 4: Results 66 Purpose of the Study 66 Research Question #1 Results 67 Research Question #2 Results 68 Research Question #3 Results 69 Research Question #4 Results 71

viii Research Question #5 Results 72 Research Question #6 Results 75 Research Question #7 Results 78 Research Question #8 Results 81 Chapter 5: Conclusions and Discussion 116 Overview 116 Conclusions 117 Research Question #1 117 Research Question #2 117 Research Question #3 118 Research Question #4 118 Research Question #5 119 Research Question #6 120 Research Question #7 121 Research Question #8 122 Discussion 123 Further Research 126 Implications for Practice 127 Implications for Policy 128 Overall Conclusion 129 References 130 Appendices 135 A. School District Study Approval Letter

ix List of Tables Table 1 Student Groups Representing Students Who Were Identified as Limited English Proficient and Who Had Participated in the English Language Learner Program and General Education Program 86 Table 2 Pretest/Posttest Essential Learner Outcome Reading Scores for Beginning Level Students 87 Table 3 Pretest/Posttest Essential Learner Outcome Math Scores for Beginning Level Students 87 Table 4 Pretest/Posttest Essential Learner Outcome Reading Scores for Intermediate Level Students 88 Table 5 Pretest/Posttest Essential Learner Outcome Math Scores for Intermediate Level Students 88 Table 6 Pretest/Posttest Essential Learner Outcome Reading Scores for Advanced Level Students 89 Table 7 Pretest/Posttest Essential Learner Outcome Math Scores for Advanced Level Students 89 Table 8 Descriptive Statistics for the Reading Essential Learner Outcome Assessment 90 Table 9 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the Reading Essential Learner Outcome Assessment 90 Table 10 Descriptive Statistics for the Math Essential Learner Outcome Assessment 91 Table 11 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the Math Essential Learner Outcome Assessment 91 Table 12 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Reading Scores for Beginning Level Students 92 Table 13 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Writing Scores for Beginning Level Students 93 Table 14 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Listening Scores for Beginning Level Students 94

x Table 15 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Speaking Scores for Beginning Level Students 95 Table 16 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Comprehension Scores for Beginning Level Students 96 Table 17 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Composite Scores for Beginning Level Students 97 Table 18 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Reading Scores for Intermediate Level Students 98 Table 19 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Writing Scores for Intermediate Level Students 99 Table 20 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Listening Scores for Intermediate Level Students 100 Table 21 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Speaking Scores for Intermediate Level Students 101 Table 22 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Comprehension Scores for Intermediate Level Students 102 Table 23 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Composite Scores for Intermediate Level Students 103 Table 24 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Reading Scores for Advanced Level Students 104 Table 25 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Writing Scores for Advanced Level Students 105 Table 26 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Listening Scores for Advanced Level Students 106 Table 27 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Speaking Scores for Advanced Level Students 107 Table 28 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Comprehension Scores for Advanced Level Students 108 Table 29 Pretest/Posttest English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Scale Composite Scores for Advanced Level Students 109

xi Table 30 Descriptive Statistics for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Reading Scale Scores 110 Table 31 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Reading Scale Scores 110 Table 32 Descriptive Statistics for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Writing Scale Scores 111 Table 33 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Writing Scale Scores 111 Table 34 Descriptive Statistics for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Listening Scale Scores 112 Table 35 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Listening Scale Scores 112 Table 36 Descriptive Statistics for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Speaking Scale Scores 113 Table 37 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Speaking Scale Scores 113 Table 38 Descriptive Statistics for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Comprehension Scale Scores 114 Table 39 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Comprehension Scale Scores 114 Table 40 Descriptive Statistics for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Composite Scale Scores 115 Table 41 Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) Composite Scale Scores 115

1 CHAPTER ONE Introduction It is well-known that the demographic make-up of schools has changed dramatically as the number of immigrant and refugee children attending school in the United States continues to rise. Students from non-English speaking backgrounds represent the fastest growing segment of the student population (Genesee, Lindholm- Leary, Saunders, & Christian, 2005). Between 1979 and 2008, the number of school-age children (children ages 5-17) who spoke a language other than English at home increased from 3.8 to 10.9 million or from 9 to 21% of the population in this age range. An increase from 18 to 21% was also evident during the more recent period of 2000 through 2008 (U.S. Department of Education, 2010). Most certainly, the trend will be for the number of immigrant and refugee children to continue to rise. As federally mandated accountability for student achievement continues to assert itself, educators are forced to focus not only on the achievement of the entire student body, but also on the achievement of each subgroup as recognized by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB; Public Law No. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425, 2002), which includes low- income students, students with limited English proficiency, students with disabilities, and students in major racial and ethnic groups. Educators are grappling with data, research, best practices, and theory to inform actions and policies which will ultimately narrow the achievement gap among these subgroups. Educators everywhere remain steadfast in their belief that all students can learn, all students can reach their full potential, and all students can become productive and successful members of the community. Yet, many are fully bemused by the issue of narrowing the achievement gap. Further complicating matters is the fact that many students are members of more than one subgroup.

2 For students who are learning English as a second or additional language, the landscape is no less foggy. As the numbers of English learners (ELs) increase, school districts work in earnest to establish highly effective, rigorous programs that address the academic, social, and emotional challenges faced by English learners and promote their academic success. A non-English learner must make ten months gain in ten months of schooling whereas an English learner must make 15 months gain in ten months of schooling (Collier & Thomas, 1999). The rigorous demands of No Child Left Behind seem almost insurmountable. Certainly, there is no time to waste in identifying characteristics of successful English language programs that will deliver valid results. There are a myriad different programs used in the United States for promoting second language development. The most common models include Dual Language Programs, Early Exit Bilingual Education, English as a Second Language Classes, English Language Development, Heritage Language Preservation, Late Exit Bilingual Education, Newcomer Programs, Pullout ESL Programs, Sheltered Content Area Classes, and Structured Immersion. In the research school district, the program for English learners is recognized as an English Language Development program in which students are grouped by language proficiency level. Since its beginning, language instruction has been delivered primarily through pull-out services in elementary schools and during specific ELL class periods in secondary schools. In the 1980s, the program began with only a few students identified in need of language development services. Today, there are approximately 450 students identified as ELL/LEP. As the numbers began to rise significantly in the 2005-2006 school year, the district recognized the need to formalize the program and drew together leadership and

3 teacher participation in the standard curriculum cycle process in order to establish a framework for goals and outcomes and adopt new instructional materials. Over the years, continual improvements have been made to the instructional program for English learners as recommended by research and best practice. An honest and intentional attempt has been made by all parties to improve the academic and social outcomes for English learners. The researcher questioned whether or not the program as it is currently organized is effectively preparing English learners to fully participate in the general education program as well as life beyond public education. Purpose of the Study The purpose of the study was to determine the reading, math, and language proficiency outcomes of 4th-grade through 7th-grade students with limited English proficiency following nearly two years or more of instruction in the English Language Learner Program and concurrent general education studies. Research Questions Overarching Pretest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #1. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the beginning level (Levels 1 and 2) lose, maintain, or improve their beginning of program compared to ending of program research school district administered Essential Learner Outcome (ELO) scale scores converted to standard scores for (a) reading and (b) math? Overarching Pretest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #2. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the intermediate level (Level

4 3) lose, maintain, or improve their beginning of program compared to ending of program research school district administered Essential Learner Outcome (ELO) scale scores converted to standard scores for (a) reading and (b) math? Overarching Pretest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #3. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the advanced level (Levels 4 and 5) lose, maintain, or improve their beginning of program compared to ending of program research school district administered Essential Learner Outcome (ELO) scale scores converted to standard scores for (a) reading and (b) math? Overarching Posttest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #4. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was determined to be at the beginning level (Levels 1 and 2), intermediate level (Level 3), or advanced level (Levels 4 and 5) have congruent or different ending of program research school district administered Essential Learner Outcome (ELO) scale scores converted to standard scores for (a) reading and (b) math? Overarching Pretest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #5. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the beginning level (Levels 1 and 2) lose, maintain, or improve their beginning of program compared to ending of program research school district administered English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) scale scores for (a) reading, (b) writing, (c) listening, (d) speaking, (e) comprehension, and (f) composite?

5 Overarching Pretest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #6. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the intermediate level (Level 3) lose, maintain, or improve their beginning of program compared to ending of program research school district administered English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) scale scores for (a) reading, (b) writing, (c) listening, (d) speaking, (e) comprehension, and (f) composite? Overarching Pretest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #7. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the advanced level (Levels 4 and 5) lose, maintain, or improve their beginning of program compared to ending of program research school district administered English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) scale scores converted to standard scores for (a) reading, (b) writing, (c) listening, (d) speaking, (e) comprehension, and (f) composite? Overarching Posttest-Posttest Achievement Research Question #8. Did students identified as limited English proficient whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the beginning level (Levels 1 and 2), intermediate level (Level 3), or advanced level (Levels 4 and 5) have congruent or different ending of program research school district administered English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) scale scores for (a) reading, (b) writing, (c) listening, (d) speaking, (e) comprehension, and (f) composite?

6 Assumptions The study had several strong features. The general education program in the research school district is well-known for being a high-performing program. In said district, ACT scores are consistently above metro, state, and national averages. In 2009, the research school district‟s average ACT score was 23.6 compared to 22.1 (state) and 21.1 (nation). On the Terra Nova Achievement Test, students scored between the 70th and 80th national percentiles on almost all subjects (reading, math, language, science, and social studies), which means that students in the research school district generally score as good or better than three-fourths of their peers nationwide. Additionally, on the State Report Card, students performed at exemplary levels and far exceeded the state's average scores (Millard Public Schools, 2010). Likewise, the English Language Learner (ELL) Program in the research school district is a well-developed program grounded in research-based practices for instruction of English learners and has proven to be effective by consistently meeting Annual Measureable Achievement Objectives set forth by Title III of No Child Left Behind. ELL teachers have earned credentials in working with English learners and are endorsed to work with students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Both ELL-endorsed teachers and general education teachers receive on- going, meaningful professional development in the area of English language acquisition and differentiation strategies for English learners. Delimitations of the Study The study was delimited to students in 4th-grade through 7th-grade who attend an urban school district and have participated in the ELL Program for nearly two or more years. It should be noted that though each student completed nearly two or more years of

7 the program, this does not necessarily mean the student has demonstrated proficiency in English at the end of this term. All students identified as limited English proficient are required to participate in the English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) each year in the spring. In addition, all students in 4th-grade through 6th-grade at the beginning of this study were required to take the research district‟s Essential Learner Outcome assessments in math and reading. Limitations of the Study This exploratory study was confined to 4th-grade through 7th-grade students (N = 31) participating in the ELL Program. Study participants in the first arm (n = 4) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the ELL Program was at the beginning level (Levels 1 and 2). Study participants in the second arm (n = 10) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the ELL Program was at the intermediate level (Level 3). Study participants in the third arm (n = 17) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the advanced level (Levels 4 and 5). Because the assessments included in the study are administered at various times of the academic school year, students had participated in the program for varying lengths of time before the pretest assessments were given. For example, some students participated in their first English Language Development Assessment (ELDA) within nine months of beginning the ELL Program, whereas some students participated in the program for up to three years before participating in the ELDA for the first time. The limited sample size, age range, and

8 length of time participating in the ELL Program may limit the utility and ability to generalize the study results and findings. Definition of Terms Achievement gap. The Achievement Gap is the difference in performance between low-income and minority students compared to that of their peers on standardized tests. (Retrieved from http://www.education.com on October 9, 2010). Additive bilingualism. Additive bilingualism occurs when both languages spoken by the student are reinforced, resulting in high levels of proficiency in the two languages (Roseberry-McKibbin, 2008). Advanced Level (Level 5). Advanced level refers to English learners who can express themselves fluently and spontaneously on a wide range of personal, general, academic, or social topics in a variety of contexts, though who are not necessarily fully English proficient, especially across all language domains and all standards (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc., 2006). Beginning Level (Level 1 and 2). Beginning level refers to English learners who initially have little to no understanding of English and grow to understand phrases and short sentences. They can communicate limited information in simple, everyday, and routine situations (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc., 2006). English Language Development Assessment (ELDA). ELDA is a battery of tests designed to allow schools to measure annual progress in the acquisition of English language proficiency skills among non-native English speaking students in grades K-12. ELDA measures both academic and social language proficiency in the four domains of

9 language; listening, speaking, reading, and writing (Council of Chief State School Officers, 2005). English learners (ELs). English learners are children and adults who are learning English as a second or additional language. This term may apply to learners across various levels of proficiency in English. ELs may also be referred to as English language learners (ELLs), non-English speaking (NES), limited English proficient (LEP), and non-native speaker (NNS) (Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2008). English Language Learner services. English language learner services refer to the program of services developed by a school district to meet the needs of English language learners. The development of such a program is guided by the Office for Civil Rights and No Child Left Behind. Essential Learner Outcome (ELO) Assessment. Essential learner outcome assessments were developed by the research school district to ensure that students between 1st-grade and 11th-grade are ready to transition from one level to the next, producing competent and qualified students who are able to succeed after leaving the school district. The ELO assessment program is also designed for school and district accountability (Millard Public Schools, 2010). Immigrant. The term „immigrant children and youth‟ means individuals who— (A) are aged 3 through 21; (B) were not born in any State; and (C) have not been attending one or more schools in any one or more States for more than three full academic years (NCLB; Public Law No. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425, 2002).

10 Intermediate Level (Level 3). Intermediate level refers to English learners who understand more complex speech but may still require some repetition. They use English spontaneously but may have difficulty expressing all their thoughts because of a restricted vocabulary and a limited command of language structure (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc., 2006). Limited English proficient (LEP). Limited English proficient is a term used to refer to a student with restricted understanding or use of written and spoken English; a learner who is still developing competence in using English. The federal government uses the term LEP while EL or ELL is more commonly used in schools (Echevarria et al., 2008). NCLB defines LEP students as (a) being 3 to 21 years of age, (b) enrolled or preparing to enroll in elementary or secondary school, (c) either not born in the United States or speaking a language other than English, and (d) owing to difficulty in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding English, not meeting the state‟s proficient level of achievement to successfully achieve in English-only classrooms. Math assessment. Math assessment refers to a locally developed math assessment that measures number concepts, operations, geometry, algebraic symbols, data analysis, and problem solving of 4th-grade and 5th-grade students; algebra, data analysis, measurement/geometry, number computation, and estimation of 6th-grade students; and number sense, estimation, measurement/geometry, algebra, and data analysis of 7th-grade students. Reading assessment. Reading assessment refers to a locally developed reading assessment that measures decoding/word analysis, vocabulary strategies, reading comprehension, text and story structure, and research and study skills for 4th-grade and

11 5th-grade students; determine meaning of words, basic comprehension of text, analysis of text, point of view, fact/non-fact and reading strategies of 5th-grade students; and determine meaning of words, basic comprehension of text, analysis of text, reading strategies and research and study skills for 7th-grade students. Realia. Real-life objects and artifacts used to supplement teaching; can provide effective visual scaffolds for English learners (Echevarria et al., 2008). Refugee. A refugee is a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country (Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 2010). Silent Period. The silent period is an interval of time during which English learners are unable or unwilling to communicate orally in the new language. The silent period may last for a few days or a year depending on a variety of factors. It occurs before English learners are ready to produce oral language and is generally referred to as the “Pre-production” stage of language learning (Krashen, 1987). Typically progressing. Typically progressing refers to a student whose ability is commensurate with the majority of his or her peers and who has not been found to have a disability as verified by standardized testing. Significance of the Study There is a growing body of research guiding educators in implementing best practices for English learners. Nonetheless, the research base is lacking in some areas, such as which type of instruction in English language development is most beneficial

12 (Goldenberg, 2008). Goldenberg calls for new research that will address what kind of instructional practices can shorten the time it takes to gain native or near-native English proficiency and whether or not the type of instruction delivered will make a significant difference. The Office for Civil Rights does not advocate any one program for meeting the needs of English learners. According to a report published by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (1998), an effective program for language minority students includes Promoting language and cognitive development Providing access to the content-area curriculum Creating an active learning environment Making appropriate use of the students‟ native language Utilizing the students‟ home and community background Giving students adequate time in special services The researcher questioned if the ELL Program in the research school district, having adhered to these recommended practices, effectively prepares limited English proficient students for success in the general education program. This study is significant in determining the next steps in the continued growth of this program. Contribution to research. The research on effective programs for English learners remains limited. The results of this study may inform theoretical and practical literature on the effectiveness of the practices and strategies used in this program. Contribution to practice. This study may inform practitioners in developing effective programs for the success of English learners.

13 Contribution to policy. This study may inform local policy makers in decisions regarding funding of English language programs; such as the need to expand physical space, increase teaching staff, and identify and purchase research-based materials. Organization of the Study The following chapters will review the literature on best instructional practice and program design for English learners, the procedures utilized in gathering the data, results of the study and discussion of the results.

14 CHAPTER TWO Review of Literature As federally mandated accountability for student achievement continues to assert itself, educators are forced to focus not only on the achievement of the entire student body, but also on the achievement of each subgroup as recognized by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB; Public Law No. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425, 2002), which includes low- income students, students with limited English proficiency, students with disabilities, and students in major racial and ethnic groups. Educators are grappling with data, research, best practices and theory to inform actions and policies which will ultimately narrow the achievement gap among these subgroups. Educators everywhere remain steadfast in their belief that all students can learn, all students can reach their full potential and all students can become productive and successful members of the community. Yet, many are fully bemused by the issue of narrowing the achievement gap. Further complicating matters is the fact that many students are members of more than one subgroup. For students who are learning English as a second or additional language, the landscape is no less foggy. It is becoming a well-known fact that the numbers of English learners in U.S. public schools has increased dramatically in the past decade and the persistent achievement gap between English learners and native English speakers is equally well-known. According to a compilation of reports from 41 state education agencies, only 18.7% of students classified as limited English proficient met state norms for reading in English (Kindler, 2002). Additionally, students from language minority backgrounds also have higher dropout rates and are more frequently placed in lower ability groups than native speakers of English (Ruiz-de-Velasco & Fix, 2000).

Full document contains 147 pages
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to determine the reading, math, and language proficiency outcomes of 4th-grade through 7th-grade students with limited English proficiency following nearly two years or more of instruction in the English Language Learner Program (ELL) and concurrent general education studies. The maximum accrual for this study was students (N = 31) participating in the research school districts English Language Learner Program. The independent variables for this study were three student groups representing students who were identified as limited English proficient and who had participated in the ELL Program and general education program. Study participants in the first arm ( n = 4) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the ELL Program was at the beginning level (Levels 1 and 2). Study participants in the second arm (n = 10) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the ELL Program was at the intermediate level (Level 3). Study participants in the third arm (n = 17) were limited English proficient students whose language proficiency at the time of entrance to the English Language Learner Program was at the advanced level (Levels 4 and 5). The results of the study supported the effectiveness of the ELL Program and concurrent general education studies in successfully preparing students to participate meaningfully in the general education program. Used with other research concerning effective programs for English learners, this study can help inform practitioners in planning and implementing successful ELL programs in local districts.