Former English Language Learners Show Academic Success

 With approximately 40 native languages spoken in the Green Bay Area Public School District, staff focus on many students’ English language development in academic areas. English Language Learners (ELL) are categorized into six levels, with level 1 as the lowest English language proficiency and level 6 as the highest. Level 6 students are students who have received ELL services in the past, but are considered English proficient and are exited out of the program.

As part of the district’s ongoing assessment to improve student achievement, staff was pleased to find that of the 465 Level 6 ELL students in grades 3-8 and 10 who took the WKCE state examination, a very significant majority were assessed proficient or advanced in reading and math. In reading, 100 percent of students in grades 3, 4, 5, and 7 scored proficient or advanced; in math, 100 percent of students in grade 3 scored proficient or advanced.

Table 1: Reading Proficiency

 

 

Grade

 

Proficient

 

Advanced

Proficient and Advanced

 

Total Students

%

N

%

N

%

N

3

0.0%

0

100.0%

8

100.0%

8

8

4

35.9%

14

64.1%

25

100.0%

39

39

5

45.9%

28

54.1%

33

100.0%

61

61

6

52.7%

49

46.2%

43

98.9%

92

93

7

45.3%

29

54.7%

35

100.0%

64

64

8

32.9%

25

64.5%

49

97.4%

74

76

10

44.4%

55

42.7%

53

87.1%

108

124

N=Number of Students


 Table 2: Math Proficiency

 

 

Grade

 

Proficient

 

Advanced

Proficient and Advanced

 

Total Students

%

N

%

N

%

N

3

25.0%

2

75.0%

6

100.0%

8

8

4

43.6%

17

53.8%

21

97.4%

38

39

5

29.5%

18

65.6%

40

95.1%

58

61

6

33.3%

31

65.6%

61

98.9%

92

93

7

57.8%

37

37.5%

24

95.3%

61

64

8

42.7%

32

52.0%

39

94.7%

71

75

10

71.0%

88

15.3%

19

86.3%

107

124

N=Number of Students

Research shows that it generally takes five to as many as ten years to become fully English proficient. Because of time needed for students to acquire academic English, there are fewer level 6 ELLs in the early grades. Students who are proficient and literate in their first language generally exit the ELL program earlier. The district’s bilingual program has been focusing on the development of literacy in Spanish, resulting in more ELL students exiting the program in 4th and 5th grade, after five to six years in the ELL program.

 “The programs and structures we have in place have produced very positive results for our ELL students,” said Julie Seefeldt, Director of English Language Learner Programs. “We anticipate seeing continued positive academic growth for these students.”

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