"Migrant Students and College Assistance Migrant Programs: A Promising Pathway to Higher Education Success"
David Gonzalez Nieto and Robert Garcia
Published December 2021
Migrant students continue to face challenging obstacles to complete their post-secondary education and their needs and successes are still widely unknown. The present article compares the results, in terms of retention and graduation, of migrant students in a CAMP program to other students in similar institutions. Using a series of independent samples T-tests, the outcomes of students are compared and potential characteristics of successful students are also identified. The results reveal a promising positive outcome in favor of CAMP programs. These results may have implications for institutions serving minoritized students labeled "at risk" in general.
"The possibilities of bilingualism: Perceptions of bilingual learners in Arizona."
Sandra A. Butvilofsky and Deena Gumina
Published 07 July 2020
This qualitative study examines students’ perceptions of their bilingualism in a school that is attempting to disrupt inequalities through the promotion of social justice through bilingual/bicultural education. In order to understand students’ perspectives of their bilingualism in Arizona’s restrictive policy context, the researchers apply Bourdieu’s conceptions of habitus, field, and capital. Findings indicate that students view their bilingualism as an asset that provides them with various forms of capital. Additionally, despite the English-hegemonic context of Arizona, this school plays an essential role in promoting students’ bilingualism/biculturalism as an avenue to greater possibilities in their lives.
"Beyond Monolingual Reading Assessments for Emerging Bilingual Learners: Expanding the Understanding of Biliteracy Assessment Through Writing"
Sandra A. Butvilofsky, Kathy Escamilla, Deena Gumina, Elizabeth Silva Diaz
Published 10 January 2020
Emerging bilingual learners' biliteracy abilities are often underestimated when monolingual reading assessments, such as the DIBELS, are used to identify students as having difficulties in learning or to guide literacy instruction. The authors propose a holistic form of biliterate assessment that uses writing as a means to understand what emerging bilingual learners actually know about literacy. In this qualitative study, the authors raise serious concerns about using DIBELS and question its adequacy for measuring literacy skills for students in the early and intermediate stages of English‐language development, as well as its limitations in providing relevant information about students' biliteracy. Through qualitative analysis of three sets of writing samples collected from 29 second‐grade students, the authors illustrate the biliteracy skills and abilities that these students possessed holistically across Spanish and English. The students selected for this study were identified by DIBELS scores as reading below or well‐below benchmark. However, through the qualitative analysis of their writing, the authors were able to document the students’ literacy understandings across languages in their second‐grade year through the organization of their written texts, change in sentence constructions, and alphabetic skills knowledge. This work is significant to the field of bilingual and biliteracy instruction in that biliterate writing assessment provides a means to understanding developing reading skills that is broader in scope and is appropriate for assessing the totality of emerging bilingual learners' biliteracy development.
"Sustaining a Multitiered System of Supports for English Learners in Rural Community Elementary Schools"
John J. Hoover, PhD, Lucinda Soltero-González, Chao Wang, Shelley Herron
Published 19 May 2019
A 5-year model demonstration project designed to improve literacy instruction and special education referrals for English learners (ELs) in grades K–3 in three rural community elementary schools was completed with specific attention to sustainability 1 year after implementation. The model, which was developed and implemented through a university–school district collaborative partnership, incorporated sustainability as a critical component. Findings show that the sustainability component (a) embedded into project development, (b) periodically revisited during project implementation, and (c) personalized by participating schools developing their own sustainability plans proved to be a successful approach to maintaining select literacy best practices and improved referrals of ELs. A minimum of 80% of classroom teacher participants reported 1 year after project implementation that key aspects of the project continued to be beneficial or very beneficial for delivering their classroom instruction to ELs. Each of the five multitiered system of supports (MTSS) for EL model components was somewhat addressed, with several being mostly addressed 1 year after implementation in all three elementary schools. Also, the culturally and linguistically responsive referral was maintained. Project sustainability findings are shared and discussed along with recommendations for educators to apply in their MTSS models in rural elementary schools with high populations of ELs with and without disabilities.
"Examining IEPs of English Learners with Learning Disabilities for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness"
John J. Hoover, Jennifer R. Erickson, James R. Patton, Donna M. Sacco, Le M. Tran
Published 21 August 2018
Effective education of English learners (ELs) with learning disabilities requires special educators to deliver culturally/linguistically responsive instruction within the context of special services, embracing the interaction between exceptionality and diversity. A critical concept is the notion that cultural and linguistic features are mandated by law to remain integral to teaching and learning once ELs are appropriately placed for special services. We examined a sampling of IEPs for ELs receiving special education for learning disabilities for cultural/linguistic responsive features to inform instruction. We found from our pilot study that the IEPs contain little to no reference to ELs' diverse linguistic and cultural qualities to (1) meet legislative mandates, and (2) guide delivery of appropriate special education. Practitioner implications for developing culturally and linguistically responsive IEPs are provided to support educators who teach ELs with learning disabilities.
"“HEY! TODAY I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT THE WATER CYCLE!”: Variations of Language and Organizational Features in Third-Grade Science Explanation Writing"
Published 8 Aug 2017
This study investigated third graders’ use and variation of linguistic resources when writing a science explanation. Using systemic functional linguistics as a framework, we purposefully selected and analyzed writing samples of students with high and low scores to explore how the students’ use of language features (i.e., lexicogrammatical re- sources) reflected those expected in the discipline, or register, of science, as well as alternative language patterns used to realize the cyclical explanation genre in science. The language features used in high-scored samples were more aligned with those of the discipline compared with the low-scored samples. Although the low-scored samples revealed that students possessed some valid scientific understandings, these understandings were not as evident due to the students’ limited use of language features commonly found in the science register. This work fills important gaps in the literature concerning the contribution of lexicogrammatical resources in conveying elementary students’ science knowledge through written explanations.
"What Gets Lost When English-Only Writing Assessment Is Used to Assess Writing Proficiency in Spanish-English Emerging Bilingual Learners?"
Kathy Escamilla, Sandra Butvilofsky, & Susan Hopewell
Published 24 Jan 2017
Recent analyses of wide-scale writing assessment outcomes indicate that English writing achievement for fourth- and fifth-grade emerging bilingual learners continues to be an area of great concern. Utilizing the theory of holistic bilingualism and a mixed methods design, this study examines the writing skills of 44 emerging bilingual fourth and fifth graders. The purpose of this study was to compare and correlate various writing outcomes as measured by the state’s high-stakes writing assessment, English language proficiency writing assessment, and an informal biliterate writing rubric. Results indicate that the majority of students are not acquiring proficiency in English writing as measured by English-only assessments. When students’ Spanish and English outcomes are considered holistically, students’ outcomes in Spanish surpassed English for the majority. Findings indicate the potential for a writing assessment protocol that is intentionally biliterate and that displays Spanish and English together as a part of the assessment process.
"Coordinated translanguaging pedagogy as distributed cognition: A case study of two dual language preschool co-teachers’ languaging practices during shared book readings"
Ryan W. Pontier & Mileidis Gort
Published February 10, 2016
This study examined how a pair of Spanish/English dual language bilingual education (DLBE) preschool teachers enacted their bilingualism while working cohesively and simultaneously toward common instructional goals. We drew on classroom video data, field notes, and other relevant artifacts collected weekly during shared readings of English- and Spanish-language storybooks over the course of one academic year to document coteachers’ book-based interactions with each other and their students. Guided by translanguaging (O. García, 2009a, 2009b; O. García & Wei, 2014) and distributive cognition (Brown & Campione, 1996; Hutchins, 1995) frameworks, findings elucidate how teachers drew on their own and each other’s dynamic bilingualism through both monolingual and bilingual performances, supporting the coordination of instructional targets (e.g., vocabulary, narrative genre) and instructional practices (e.g., translation, explanation). Findings have implications for DLBE program language policy and practice as they highlight the utility of a bilingual pedagogy.