A Longitudinal Study Of Fifth Grade Students Participating In The One Way Dual Language Program And Its Implication On English Language Learner Program Decision Making
Elizondo, Virginia 1973-
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School age children of newly arrived immigrants in the United States are at a disadvantage because of their inability to speak or understand the English language. Although English is not the official language of the United States, it is the language that the United States embraces as a common tongue. In order to function as full citizens, immigrant children need to master the English language. Numerous school programs are designed to help students acquire English. Among these programs is the Two Way Dual Language (TWDL) model (Thomas & Collier, 1997) which assists non-English speaking students to acquire English. The program is unique in requiring two groups of students, a non-English speaking group and an English speaking group, to be in the same classroom, usually in a 50/50 balance. Students are partnered with a student from the opposite group as a peer support system. This is one of the defining characteristics of this program. Many schools, such as the one in this study, are faced with the issue of having a homogenous group of non-English speaking students. In its current form, traditional Two-Way Dual Language would not be possible in this setting. Gomez and Gomez (2005) made this realization and adapted the TWDL to fit classroom settings with primarily non-English speaking students. The name of their model is One Way Dual Language (OWDL). This model takes the effective components of TWDL and situates them into a setting in which all students are English Language Learners. Additional strategies and methods are included to supplement the lack of an English-speaking partner. This study examined a cohort of students who were participants in the One Way Dual Language program. This study examined the outcomes of the OWDL on a group of English Language Learners through a longitudinal study of their growth and expectation of growth in grades 2 through 5. The data from the TELPAS test was retrieved from the study district’s department of research and accountability. This study used descriptive statistics of the One Way Dual Language program and its impact on English acquisition levels. This study has provided program decision makers with a perspective of the role the One Way Dual Language program played on English language acquisition and development with an intact student cohort over a four-year period.
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