Assessing school supports for ELL students using the ECLS-K

Wen Jui Han, Beatrice L. Bridglall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a large and nationally representative sample of children, this study examined the association between the school resources available to English Language Learners and their academic trajectories from kindergarten through fifth grade. Particular attention was paid to the differences in services provided by schools with high, low, or no ELL student concentrations. Growth-curve modeling results indicated that ELL children started kindergarten with significantly lower reading and math scores compared to their English-speaking peers. However, ELL children improved their math scores fast enough that they were able to narrow the initial gap in math scores with their English-speaking peers by fifth grade. This was particularly true for ELL children in schools with either a high- or low ELL student concentration. In contrast, ELL children still had lower reading scores by fifth grade compared to their English-speaking peers. The results highlight the importance of school resources and services in improving ELL students' academic trajectories. Directions for future studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-462
Number of pages18
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • ECLS-K
  • ESL
  • English Language Learners (ELL)
  • Immigrants
  • School environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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