OELA Office of English Language Acquisition (2016, November). English Learner Tool Kit. U.S. Department of Education.

English Learner Tool Kit updated with ESSA references. OELA’s EL Tool Kit was published in 2015 as a companion to support the 2015 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) produced by the Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the Department of Justice, outlining legal obligations for ELs. Some chapters of the tool kit have been updated related to the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA). The English Learner Tool Kit helps state and local education agencies help English Learners (ELs) by fulfilling these obligations. The Toolkit has 10 chapters (one for each section of the DCL), and contains an overview, sample tools, and resources.

Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blase, K. A., and Wallace, F. (2007, April). Implementation: The Missing Link Between Research and Practice. APSAC Advisor Excerpt, Volume 19, Numbers 1 & 2, Winter/Spring. National Implementation Research Network, University of South Florida.

For two decades, providers have attempted to integrate research-based treatment and prevention strategies into human service practices, but human services remain largely ineffective. This article proposes that implementation — the art and science of incorporating innovations — is the missing link. The authors examine the challenges of bridging the gap between evidence-based research and its application within the complex realm of human services, where “the practitioner is the intervention.” They review two theoretical frameworks for making science-to-service more effective. They recommend developing feedback systems and common outcomes, designing training academies for implementation, and aligning government systems with service providers’ needs.

Advani, A. G., Brown, Z. A., and Anselmi Simpson, B. (2008). What Does the Research Say: Research-based Characteristics of Effective Districts, Schools, and Classrooms that Promote English Learner Achievement. Oakland, CA: WestEd.

This report synthesizes the major themes from research on trends in the field of educating English learners. In a series of charts, the document provides characteristics, definitions, and examples from effective districts, schools, and classrooms that promote English learner achievement. Each characteristic is described succinctly and multiple specific examples are listed. The authors’ intention is to present what the research says in order to provide district and school personnel with an organized set of features found in effective learning environments for English learners. 

Olsen, Laurie. 2012. Secondary School Courses Designed to Address the Language Needs and Academic Gaps of Long Term English Learners. Californians Together, Long Beach, CA. 

The purpose of this report is to articulate the collective emerging knowledge base about how to design and implement effective courses that meet the needs of long-term English learners.

Gold, N. (2006, October). Successful Bilingual Schools: Six Effective Programs in California. San Diego: San Diego County Office of Education.

This report analyzes case studies conducted over a two-year period to investigate successful bilingual education programs in six California schools. The inquiry is focused on primary implementation strategies and notable instructional qualities, including leadership, accountability, teacher qualifications, and professional development. The report shows that a wide range of instructional and organizational factors can lead to academic excellence for English learners, and it lists the features of effective schools and successful programs.

Dutro, S. and Kinsella, K. (2009). English Language Development: Issues and Implementation at Grades 6–12. Chapter 3 in Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.

Dutro and Kinsella offer an approach to rethink English language development (ELD) instruction for adolescent language learners, based on current research and promising practices. They present a model for rigorous standards-aligned ELD instruction, give descriptive examples, and provide practical tools for implementing effective programs at the secondary level. The chapter focuses on explicit teaching of vocabulary and syntactical structures to strengthen students’ oral and written academic English and boost them beyond the intermediate level.

Goldenberg, C. (2008, Summer). Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does — and Does Not — Say. American Educator, 8–44. Washington, DC.

Goldenberg summarizes the significant findings of research on educating English language learners (ELLs). He condenses the findings into three key points: 1) teaching children to read in their first language promotes reading achievement in English; 2) what works for learners in general works for ELLs; and 3) teachers must adapt instruction to ELLs’ instructional needs. The author identifies gaps in research by highlighting three groups of questions that educators often ask regarding bilingual reading instruction, oral language development, and the best way to teach ELD. The article includes details on instructional modifications that can strengthen ELLs’ English proficiency and expand access to academic content.

Back To Top