Current Research

Language Support for Students
in the Home and in School

The following documents offer a synthesis of research addressing second language acquisition and the importance of collaborative talk in the classroom.

Classroom Strategies for Encouraging Collaborative Discussion

This article is written primarily for English as a second language (ESL), bilingual and mainstream teachers who have English language learners in their classroom. The methods and activities described throughout can be successfully adapted for use with elementary, middle, and high school students. In reworking these activities for their own classrooms, teachers will want to consider the literacy and English proficiency levels of their students, along with such factors as age, cultural and education background, and learning style.

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Cooperative Learning, Values, and Culturally Plural Classrooms\

This report by Johnson and Johnson provides evidence for the value of cooperative learning in the classroom.

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Collaborative Practices in Bilingual Cooperative Learning Classrooms

This research report by Gumperz, Cook-Gumperz, and Syzmanski addresses the value of informal conversations in cooperative learning environments.

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Lessons From Research: What Is the Length of Time It Takes Limited English Proficient Students to Acquire English and Succeed in an All-English Classroom?

This paper discusses the issue of length of time needed for English language learners (ELLs) to acquire English and participate successfully in all-English or mainstream classrooms. The author derives four “lessons” from prior reviews of educational research. That is followed by key findings from nine well-cited, government-funded research reviews in the area of ESL/bilingual education. The author stresses individual variability in the amount of time needed to acquire academic language.