The Documentation Component
This component of the CUNY-NYSIEB project looks to the past to inform the present by:
- Documenting the historical efforts which have been made by NYSED in educating emergent bilingual students, and
- Identifying elementary, middle and high schools that are successfully educating emergent bilinguals in representative areas of New York State – New York City, Long Island, Hudson Valley, Capital District, Mid-West New York and West New York, to document their effective practices, and to make those practices available for dissemination to other schools across the state.
In the first year of the historical documentation project will focus on key players working at the state level during the creation and implementation of key policies related to the education of emergent bilinguals.
The following policies are a sampling of those being targeted for rigorous study through interviews with key players in the implementation of these policies as well as through visits to relevant archives that house information related to the creation and implementation of these policies.
- Origins of bilingual education and ESL services in NYSED.
- CR Part 154
- The development of learning standards for emergent bilinguals
- The Teaching of Language Arts to Limited English Proficient/English Language Learners: A Resource Guide for All Teachers
- The Teaching of Language Arts to Limited English Proficient/English Language Learners: Learning Standards for Native Language Arts (NLA).
- The Teaching of Language Arts to Limited English Proficient/English Language Learners: Learning Standards for ESL
- The creation of the Bilingual Education Technical Assistance Centers (BETACs) and their recent restructuring into The Regional Bilingual and ESL Resource Networks (RBE-RNs)
- The emergence of two-way bilingual education as a model
The second year of the study intends to expand beyond the state-level to incorporate the perspectives of community-based organizations and other key stakeholders throughout the state.
Successful School Documentation
While documenting the historical processes that were at play in creating statewide policies responsive to the needs of emergent bilinguals, the documentation component also seeks to document the practices of schools successful at meeting the needs of emergent bilinguals today.
The first step in this process is to establish a criterion for effectiveness in teaching emergent bilinguals at the elementary, middle school and high school levels in schools with above-average numbers of emergent bilinguals. This criterion will be established based on above-state averages on ELA, Math, Regents, and Graduation rates with emergent bilinguals over three years. A database will be constructed with data from publicly available documents, as well as data provided by NYSED and specifically gathered for this project.
Based on analysis of this data, the CUNY-NYSIEB Research Team will develop a survey instrument to gather more specific information on programs and practices of schools, as well as characteristics of students, faculty and community. In addition, the survey will request willingness of principals to allow more rigorous research to be conducted in their school.
Based on analysis of the survey and willingness expressed by principals during the second year of the study a representative sample of approximately 15 schools will be visited and observed. The research team will develop interview protocols to be used with the principal and an additional staff member (preferably the ESL/BE Coordinator, but could also be the assistant principal or guidance counselor). In addition, the Research Team will develop a focus group protocol to be used with effective teachers of emergent bilinguals and a parent group, if possible. There will also be the development of an observation protocol to be used to observe the teaching of two emergent bilingual students in one of the effective schools throughout an entire school day.
After the more rigorous research study has been conducted with each of the 15 schools, certain schools will be selected for videotaping with the goal of documenting best practices for emergent bilinguals.