English Language Learners
AIR helps the many children who speak English as a second language meet their full academic potential. We are committed to improving instruction and outcomes for English Language Learners (ELLs) by connecting rigorous research to policy and practice.
Initiatives led by AIR experts include the following:
- Research: AIR researchers contribute to the research base about what works for ELLs by conducting rigorous studies of instructional interventions and evaluating district programs and policies.
- Policy: AIR experts evaluate federal, state, and district policies that affect ELLs and craft evidence-based recommendations for policymakers.
- Applying research to policy and practice: AIR ELL specialists provide valuable technical assistance and professional development to help schools and districts improve instruction and learning for ELLs. We tailor our district and school consultation services to meet the specific needs of individual districts and schools.
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In order to improve instruction for ELLs, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has recently an initiative under which all core academic teachers in the state are required to complete comprehensive professional development in Sheltered English Instruction methods by July 2016. AIR has evaluated the pilot professional development program and will be evaluating the implementation of the first year of the full roll-out of the program.
The need to serve English language learners (ELLs) has never been more pressing. Supporting English Language Learners: A Pocket Guide for State and District Leaders, developed by the Center for English Language Learners at AIR, is designed for state and district leaders who play a key role in ensuring that all students—including ELLs—graduate from high school well prepared for college and careers.
Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides funds to states and districts to support ELL students’ successful attainment of English language proficiency and state academic standards. The U.S. Department of Education commissioned AIR to evaluate the Title III program to determine how well states are implementing its provisions, how state policy translates into district practices, and how well ELLs are mastering grade-level content and improving their English language proficiency.
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