What Type of Research Is Needed On ELLs?

The U.S. Department of Education is requesting proposals for research studies that would address how to better meet the needs of students who are English Language learners.

In an item appearing in the Federal Register, the department indicates interest in instructional approaches, assessments and training for educators. Written submissions are due by October 9.

The request also seeks studies that could improve meeting the needs of teachers and administrators who work with ELLs.

“The Department anticipates making use of this information to inform the development of our evaluation and research agenda in the coming years and to guide future evaluation and research studies addressing the needs of [ELLs],” the listing reads.

Additionally, the department is interested in ELLs who fall into categories including students with disabilities, middle and high school students and immigrant students with limited formal education.

Other topics of interest include using technology in instructing ELLs, using academic language to promote language acquisition and data collection strategies.

Another earlier announcement in the Federal Register requested guidance on how to improve technical services related to ELLs for educators and state officials.

Learning the Language blogger Lesli Maxwell pointed out that the requests have come amidst concerns that the education department has not addressed the ELL population’s needs.

In particular, some educators are concerned that the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA), did not provide particularly current and useful information on how to help ELLs.

Related Links:

– “Request for Information to Inform the Title III Evaluation and Research Studies Agenda,” Federal Register.

– “English-Learner Research: Ed Dept. Looking for Guidance,” Learning the Language Blog, Education Week.

– “Ed. Dept. Seeks Feedback on Supporting English-Learners,” Learning the Language Blog, Education Week.

– National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)


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