English Language Learners’  Achievement at an Urban High School in Atlanta, U.S.

University essay from Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen

Abstract: This explorative research paper looks at language proficiency development of English Language Learners (ELLs) in the United States, and examines what factors influence their academic achievement. The paper discusses cultural and linguistic diversity in the United States and aims to explore educational policies, in relation to educating ELLs. The study was carried out with a qualitative approach where semi-structured interviews were conducted with three teachers and two administrators at the high school of the investigation. The data collected were analysed with a constant comparative approach, and a thick description of the setting is provided. The conclusion that is drawn from this investigation is that ELLs’ academic achievement is affected by a wide range of factors, including current testing policies, resource allocation, school system requirements, school environment, home situation, and the ELLs’ previous schooling.

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