Thesis

A comparison of fifth and sixth grade students on the California English Language Development Test

California has one of the most diverse populations within the United States. Public schools in California educate more than 6 million students, and of those students, 37.4% speak a language other than English. According to the California Department of Education (2013), English learners (EL) comprise 23.2% of the total enrollment in California public schools and they speak more than fifty-nine languages, the majority speaking Spanish (82.7%). This poses a difficult challenge for schools in determining what is the most effective instruction for its English learners. Two such programs include Structured English Immersion (SEI) and Two-Way Bilingual Immersion (TWBI). The primary goal of both these programs is to develop English proficient students, yet Long-term English Language Learners exist despite these types of specialized instruction. As California transitions into Common Core Standards, educators need to address the needs of all students; however, California educators have the added challenge of ensuring that more than a fifth of its students become proficient in English.

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