Got Any Good Secondary ELL Approaches for Texas?

By Mary Ann Zehr — July 30, 2008 1 min read
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Texas officials say the state will likely appeal the ruling issued by a federal court on July 25 that programs for ELLs in grades 7-12 in the Lone Star State must be revamped.

But in the meantime, I’m thinking that state officials will still be on the lookout for approaches that work with ELLs in middle and high schools. While I was reporting my story about the ruling, “Federal Court Ruling Prods Texas on ELLs,” published at yesterday, Deborah Short, a researcher for the Washington-based Center for Applied Linguistics, told me she can’t think of any particular school districts or states across the nation that have shown lasting success with ELLs at the secondary level. Staff members of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have asked her for such recommendations, she says, and she’s able to point only to individual schools.

In more than eight years of reporting on ELLs, I’ve seen only two reports that critique the quality of education for secondary school ELLs nationwide (let me know if you know of others). They are Overlooked and Underserved and Double the Work, which Ms. Short co-authored. I expect the Texas ruling will create more of a buzz around this issue in education circles.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.