English Learners


English Learners

English learners are the fastest growing segment of the public school population in the United States. The School’s faculty and researchers have deep expertise in issues surrounding the assessment, teaching and learning of English learners. Find more on our research and other resources here.

Research Yuuko Uchikoshi Tonkovich

Language and Literacy Development Lab

Our research focuses on the language and literacy development of young children, particularly dual language learners. We have several ongoing projects. The lab is supported by grants from the National Institute of Health, Foundation for Child Development, Language Learning, and Yolo Community Foundation.

Research Christian Faltis

Colorblind Bilingual Programs Perpetuate Racism
A Call for Race Radical Vision

Many assume bilingual education can level the academic playing field for English learners, but one UC Davis professor calls foul on current programmatic practices.

In a new paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) on April 20, 2015, education professor Chris Faltis argues that “colorblind” approaches to multilingualism in education mask agendas that privilege the dominant, or “whitestream,” culture.

Research Jamal Abedi Christian Faltis

Impact of the WRITE Program on English Language Learner Achievement and Teacher Instructional Practice

Through this study, professors Jamal Abedi and Christian Faltis investigating the impact of the WRITE Tier 2 writing program on the academic performance of English Language Learner (ELL) students and on teacher instructional practices in middle and high schools. 


Research News – February 2014

Rebecca Ambrose, associate professor in the School of Education, and Marta Molina. “Spanish/English Bilingual Students’ Comprehension of Arithmetic Story Problem Texts.” International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. November 2013.


Book on Language Policy in Arizona, edited by Prof. Christian Faltis
Released April 2012

Implementing Educational Language Policy in Arizona: Legal, Historical, and Current Practices in SEI, edited by Chris Faltis and M. Beatriz Arias, brings together scholars, researchers, and educators to present a critical examination of Arizona’s restrictive language policies as they influence teacher preparation and practice. The Structured English Immersion model prescribes the segregation of English learners for four hours a day from English speakers and academic content for a minimum of one year. 


Decades of Excellent Educational Research Being Translated
An update on Professor Emeritus George Yonge

George Yonge, education professor emeritus, is translating Afrikaans texts from the faculty of education at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. Yonge says that the depth and substance of the work done in the faculty has led to his decision to spend part of his retirement years by making these texts accessible to a wider audience. Read more at the University of Pretoria’s Web site.


English Proficiency Testing Has Improved, National Report Shows

Standardized testing that seeks to measure students’ English language proficiency has improved significantly nationwide since 2001, when Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act, according to “English Language Proficiency Assessment in the Nation: Current Status and Future Practice,” a report edited by Professor Jamal Abedi in November 2007.  Read the Executive Summary. Abedi’s 196-page report is the first to summarize the progress of the four effort s and to report on the current testing landscape nationwide.

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