« Improving Instruction for English-Learners Is Aim of Ed. Dept. Grants | Main | The Most-Read Blog Posts of 2015 From Learning the Language »

Report Recommends Longer School Day for English-Language Learners

A report from the National Center on Time and Learning explores how three U.S. schools are using expanded school days to provide extra support for English-language learners.

The report profiles two Massachusetts expanded-time schoolsHill Elementary in Revere and Guilmette Elementary in Lawrenceand Godsman Elementary in Denver, and examines the strategies educators used to boost the achievement of English-learners.K-12_Dealmaking.gif

The study, Giving English Language Learners the Time They Need to Succeed, identified four best practices that worked in the schools:

  • Extended literacy blocks, with upwards of 2.5 hours per day focused on skills needed for reading and writing.
  • Using data to pinpoint areas where individual students struggle, then subdividing those students into small groups where staff can help address the challenges.
  • Maintaining support and services for fluent-speaking English-learners who need to boost their academic English skills
  • Ensuring that teachers meet often to align lesson plans, and identify and address student needs.

Capture ELL II.PNG

"The benefits of having more instructional time during the day and across the year to build in many layers of learning and mastering English are undeniable," Jennifer Davis, the National Center on Time and Learning's co-founder and president said in statement. "With substantially more time than the conventional schedule, the schools we document are able to provide the kind of deep support that traditional schools find much more difficult to do."

The Boston-based research group advocates for an extended school day and school year. All three of the high-poverty schools have extended the school day as part of statewide efforts to boost academic achievement.

Hill Elementary is a member of the Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time Initiative, which allows staff to develop a longer school day and calendar. Slightly more than 25 percent of the students there are ELLs.

Earlier this year, my colleague Denisa Superville wrote about the districtwide expanded learning time effort in the Lawrence schools.

Almost half the students at Guilmette are English-learners. In Denver, Godsman Elementary used their designation as a state "innovation school" to add a dual-language program and expanded the school day to 8 hours, up from 6.5.

The percentage of students who are English-learners at each school ranges from nearly 90 at Godsman to slightly more than 25 percent at Hill.

Here's a look at the report:


Graphic Source: U.S. Department of Education

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Charles: ELLs in our state ARE required to take State standardized read more
  • Melissa: Maybe I'm just becoming jaded, but this feels to me read more
  • Anonymous: Are you kidding me....UNO is an organizaion that literally destroys read more
  • Meg Baker: Are any schools using ACCESS scores for purposes other than read more
  • Dr. Mendoza: This is great news i must say. Hopefully this DREAM read more