A recent study from the Regional Education Laboratory Northwest confirmed that English Language Learning students in six Oregon school districts were more likely to be suspended and expelled than their English-speaking counterparts.
In middle school, average days lost to suspension or expulsion start to diverge: 3.3 school days for native speakers to 3.5 days for ELL students. In high school, the disparity is even greater; 4.1 school days to 4.9. Most of these suspensions and expulsions stem from aggressive behavior and insubordination, according to the study.
Not surprisingly, test scores and achievement metrics for ELL students in these districts were lower than their English-speaking peers. It’s hard for a student to make progress if they are not in class.
The question becomes what can be done about the situation. Are these students acting out because of a lack of success in the classroom? If ELL programs were more effective, would these suspension rates decrease? That’s not an assumption that is out of line with the thinking of many education leaders and community activists.
The Rosetta Stone® Language Learning Suite for K-12
Our Language Learning Suite for K-12 can be the key to achievement for English language learners. It’s not a replacement for classroom instruction; it’s a complement that helps more students develop reading, writing, and oral communication skills more effectively.
For a great overview of how the Suite works in the ELL setting, check out this on-demand webinar!
One of the key challenges in an ELL setting is differentiation. Students are coming into the district with vastly different English skills and vastly different backgrounds. The Rosetta Stone approach evens out that playing field. We actually have two on-demand demos that show how the Suite can be a solution for both newcomers and long-term English learners.
What’s happening in Oregon, although not unexpected, is still unnecessary. All ELL students can be success in school and productive in the economy with the right tools.