Who Are the Language Minority Students of the ECLS-K? Demographic Predictors of English Language Acquisition

Rachel E. Durham, Pennsylvania State University

As the immigrant population of the United States expands at an unprecedented rate, research addressing young children’s English language acquisition is needed. This study thus has two main objectives. The first is to describe the demographic characteristics of language minority students in terms of their ethnicity, nationality, generation status, family structure, gender, and socioeconomic status. Because language minority children face the risk of being remedially classified as “limited English proficient” at school, this analysis will be done in the interest of discovering whether certain demographic characteristics predict how students are classified at the start of kindergarten. The second is to use the extensive language testing data in the ECLS-K to examine whether certain demographic and family characteristics predict the rate at which students obtain functional English ability. This analysis will attempt to identify whether certain groups of immigrant children are at a greater risk for school difficulties due to language acquisition difficulties.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course