Reclassification Patterns among Latino English Learner Students in Bilingual, Dual Immersion, and English Immersion Classrooms

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American Educational Research Jourrnal

Schools are under increasing pressure to reclassify their English learner (EL) students to “Fluent English proficient” status as quickly as possible. This paper examines timing to reclassification among Latino ELs in four distinct linguistic instructional environments: English immersion, transitional bilingual, maintenance bilingual, and dual immersion. Using hazard analysis and 12 years of data from a large school district, the paper investigates whether reclassification timing, patterns, or barriers differ by linguistic program. We find that Latino students enrolled in two language programs are reclassified at a slower pace in elementary school, but have higher overall reclassification, English proficiency, and academic threshold passage by the end of high school. We discuss the implications of these findings on accountability policies and educational opportunities in EL programs.

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