Long-Term English Language Learners
an Invisible Population
Spotlight on "Long-Term English Language Learners": Characteristics and Prior Schooling Experiences of an Invisible Population by Kate Menken, Tatyana Kleyn and Nabin Chae
The main purpose of the study was to identify and distinguish ELLs from LTELLs and to prompt continued research on LTELLs to help prevent the development of ELLs into LTELLs by addressing the observed causes of this development. Menken and Kleyn set out to characterize and define the LTELL because they noted that “there is little empirical research, [on LTELLs] despite their significant numbers” (121). To do this work they used two guiding questions, “What are the characteristics of LTELLs in New York City high schools (e.g., country of origin, languages spoken at home, school performance, etc.)?” and “What social and educational factors discussed by participants contribute to an emergent bilingual [ELL] becoming an LTELL (e.g. prior schooling experiences, ELL programming received, etc. )?” (Menken, et. al 125-126). They assumed that they would find patterns in the schooling practices of the selected LTELLs that could point to why there are so many of them despite having been served by ELL programs for 7+ years.
There were 29 LTELLs from grades 9 through 12 in the study and were between 15 and 19 years old with most of them being native Spanish speakers from the Dominican Republic.
| || |
LTELLs are performing at a D+ average indicating a need for further support for them that they are not currently receiving.