Transitioning English Language Learners, Annotated Bibliography

More than 40 percent of the 1.8 million adults served by the national adult education program are English language learners (ELLs). Often, these learners begin with English as a second language (ESL) classes and then transition to adult basic or adult secondary programming to further their academic skills. In 2008–2011, AIR staff conducted an examination of the policies and instructional and programmatic strategies that support the successful transition of advanced ELLs into advanced educational programming that prepares them for postsecondary education and the 21st century workplace.

A key component of the study, known as the TELL project, is a review of literature and critical annotated bibliography to provide an overview and critique of the research related to TELL. The review of literature focused on instructional practices and programs related to TELL, including teaching and learning processes, strategies to improve academic language learning, and instructional and programmatic strategies that support ELLs’ transition to adult basic education (ABE) or adult secondary education (ASE) programs

AIR implemented a highly structured, methodical literature management system and conducted a systematic literature review to ensure consistency in the identification, analysis, and writing of the critical annotations. The search for literature included several interconnected and overlapping phases that resulted in the development of critical annotations designed to describe the literature and critique its value to TELL in general, and to this TELL project specifically. The search management process included a preliminary exploratory literature review to conceptualize research questions. These guiding questions were framed around eight a priori themes that emerged from the preliminary review of the literature, and the themes were used to create a framework with which to organize the literature found.

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Institute Fellow and Managing Researcher