Eighth Graders Knowledge and Feedback of Reclassification: A Case Study at One Middle School

The number of English learners (ELLs) continues to increase, however, many are not reaching English proficiency. This can impede their education and can widen the achievement gap. The purpose of this study is to identify factors that promote reclassification amid middle school students in order to avoid possible implications in high school. Eighth grade RFEP and ELL students share their knowledge and level of importance placed on the reclassification system, in order to analyze what could be done to help other ELL students reach English proficiency. Some of the themes identified in the literature review are determining ELL status, avenues of reclassification, and implications and benefits of reclassifying before entering high school. The research method used to analyze the data is a mixed-methods design. The data analysis begins with a quantitative examination of a Likert scale questionnaire and is followed by a qualitative analysis of open-ended questions. The results show that based on student input the major factor that determines if a student will reclassify is whether the student finds reclassification important. Therefore, all teachers should be aware of the reclassifications system in order to reinforce the importance of reclassification to ELL students. By shedding light on what motivates students to become reclassified, it will motivate students and narrow the achievement gap.