Regional Educational Laboratory - Appalachia
Funder: U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, via subcontract from CNA Corporation
April 2006 – December 2011
CAL is a partner on the five-year renewal of REL-Appalachia effective January 2012. Watch this webpage for more details.
CAL conducted rapid-response research studies on issues related to serving new and rapidly expanding enrollments of English language learners in the Appalachian states (Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia).
Reports recently prepared for dissemination through the Appalachian Regional Education Laboratory address some of the challenges that states, school districts, and schools confront when they first receive English language learners. Lacking experience in relevant programming, instruction, services, and teacher professional development, what do educational systems do? CAL researchers conducted a limited set of interviews with state, district, and school staff and discovered that schools generally move through four phases of service: ad hoc services, consistent services, a developed program of services, and an expanded and integrated program of services. Drawing on their research and accounts of experiences shared with them during interviews, CAL researchers recommended that schools use economic development in their area to predict ELL enrollment and that they prepare to serve English language learners by identifying leaders to spearhead program development, conducting needs assessments in their district, and identifying human and programmatic resources that can help build the infrastructure needed to serve these students. A related study outlined key patterns of naming conventions among English language learners in the region to help schools devise database and registration rules that accommodate cultural differences.
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