Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Marilyn Hirth

Committee Chair

Marilyn Hirth

Committee Member 1

William McInerney

Committee Member 2

James Freeland

Committee Member 3

Pamela Frampton

Abstract

Baker, Gregory A. Ph.D., Purdue University, December 2013. The Effect On Cumulative Language Acquisition Increase For English Language Learner Students In Kindergarten Through Third Grade Who Attended Multiple Years Of Summer Remediation Programs. Major Professor: Marilyn A. Hirth

Already academically at risk, students in the rapidly growing English Language Learner (ELL) student population in the United States face additional challenges due to regression of English language acquisition over the average ten-week agrarian summer break when they return to homes in which Spanish was the primary language spoken. While the influence of summer learning loss has been investigated in different contexts with different populations of students little, has been done to study the effect of summer learning loss with ELL students (Alexander, Entwisle, & Linda Steffel, 2007; Cooper, Valentine, & Charlton, 2003; Geoffrey D. Borman, James Benson, & Laura T. Overman, 2005).

This study has researched the influence, as quantified by Language Assessment Scale Links (LAS) testing, of attending multiple years of summer remediation programs on the English acquisition of students. A cohort group of 349 students from a rural northeastern Indiana school corporation was chosen from the kindergarten, first, second, and third grades in 2009. These students were followed for four years during which time they attended one or more years of summer remediation. Student LAS scores were tracked over the four-year period to assess English acquisition performance, and these were compared to a control group that did not attend any summer remediation. At the end of the four years, student scores were analyzed to ascertain if attendance in the summer remediation programs had an influence on English acquisition.

Overall, there was a significant difference between the summer elementary school students and the non-summer elementary school students' LAS raw scores, with the non-summer school students out performing their summer school counterparts. Those students recommended for summer school were those who were identified as needing additional academic and linguistic remedial help, which was reflected in these data. Research data also indicated that a significant majority of all students regardless of summer school attendance were not progressing from basic levels of language acquisition to fluency as rated by LAS Links assessment protocol used by the corporation to Level 5 that according to LAS Links is considered a fluent English learner.