English Language Program Participation Among Students in the Kindergarten Class of 2010-11: Spring 2011 to Spring 2012
Providing English language instruction has important implications for millions of children nationwide. For instance, in 2014, 4.6 million public school students participated in programs for English language learner (ELL) students, accounting for about 9 percent of enrollment. This Statistics in Brief report describes the percentage of students who participate in instructional programs designed to teach English language skills and the specific programs in which they participate as they enter schooling.
The report uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011), and focuses on the time period where the students were transitioning from kindergarten to first grade. This brief examines the following study questions:
- How did Kindergartners who participated in English language instruction programs compare with kindergartners who did not participate in English language programs in terms of student and school characteristics?
- What were the characteristics of the English language instruction that kindergartners with limited English proficiency received in the spring of kindergarten?
- Did participation in English language instruction programs change between kindergarten and first grade?
- Of these kindergartners participating in English language programs designed to teach English language skills, 80 percent were Hispanic, 57 percent lived in households with incomes below the federal poverty level, and 35 percent had parents whose highest level of education was less than a high school credential. The percentage of kindergartners with each of these characteristics was higher among kindergartners participating in English language instruction programs than among those who were not participating in these programs.
- A higher percentage of kindergartners participating in English language programs (46 percent) than kindergartners not participating in these programs (5 percent) attended schools in which school administrators reported that 50 percent or more of kindergartners in the school were English language learner (ELL) students.
- Twenty-two percent of kindergartners participating in English language programs were no longer in an English language instruction program in first grade. About 3 percent of kindergartners entered English language programs in first grade after not having been enrolled in them previously. As a net result of this turnover, there was no significant change in the percentage of the 2010–11 kindergarten class participating in English language instruction programs between kindergarten and first grade.