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A critical examination of the academic trajectories of ESL youth Bruce Garnett, PhD BC School District 36 (Surrey) Canadian Council on Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "A critical examination of the academic trajectories of ESL youth Bruce Garnett, PhD BC School District 36 (Surrey) Canadian Council on Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 A critical examination of the academic trajectories of ESL youth Bruce Garnett, PhD BC School District 36 (Surrey) Canadian Council on Learning

2 Research questions What do the academic trajectories of BC ESL students look like? How do their trajectories differ by personal background factors including: ethno-cultural group; English language proficiency; gender; age on entry; socio-economic status? How do these personal background factors interact? What is the interaction of the personal background effects upon the structural effects? What policy implications can be drawn from the responses to these questions?

3 Population 1997 Grade eight cohort ESL students n = 7 527; any student who received one or more years of ESL service and claimed a home language other than English. Chinese (Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese) – 3365 South Asian (Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu) – 1470 Vietnamese – 373 Philippino (Tagalog, Pilipino) – 323 Spanish – 291 Persian -284 Korean –239 Other – 1182 Native English speakers n = ; any student who never received ESL service and claimed only English as a language spoken at home.

4 Ethno-cultural group and graduation

5 Ethno-cultural group, English proficiency and graduation

6 Estimated family income, ethno-cultural group and graduation

7 Gender, ethno-cultural group and graduation (beginner ESL)

8 Age of entry and graduation

9 Logistic regression model: Odds ratios of graduation in six years Even odds Nagelkerke r sq. =.357

10 Themes The ESL label is of limited value due to the wide variation within this category. Disadvantage is additive and multiplicative. First language academic knowledge (not just English proficiency) appears correlated with success. The male disadvantage generally extends to ESL groups. Most ethno-cultural groups appear to aspire to academic success. Schools have further to go to reduce inequalities. School population composition effects appear minimal.

11 Policy implications Disaggregate data for decision making. Assess for prior learning before entry to the system. Target support towards groups most in need. Schools should do what schools do best (i.e. teach language and content). The policy mix should target both students and schools (time, attitudes, professional development). ESL support should be ongoing. Provide additional time for graduation.


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