A study of the predictors of academic success among high school English language learners in one urban Tennessee school district

Sharada Sekar, Tennessee State University

Abstract

In consideration of the widening achievement gap between native English speaking and non-English speaking students, the purpose of this study was to determine whether a predictable relationship exists between the academic achievement of English language learners (ELLs) and their background variables. Specifically, this study examined differences in gender, SES (based on free and reduced lunch), ethnicity, length of residence in the USA, and first language, and studied whether any associations exist among these factors and the ELLs' academic performance, as measured by Gateway scores in English II and Algebra I. Intermediate ELL students, grades nine through twelve, who attended schools in a Tennessee Metropolitan School District were the subjects of this study. The study used archival data from 2004–2007. Simple linear regression analyses and Analyses of Variance were conducted to test for associations between the variables and the English language learners' performance on the Gateway exams. There were no significant associations between gender and academic achievement or between length of residence in the USA and academic achievement. However, significant differences were found based on the first language and ethnicity of the English language learners. Amharic and Vietnamese speakers performed significantly better than the Somali, Arabic, Kurdish, and Spanish speakers. Asian and White students performed significantly better than the Hispanic and Black students. ^

Subject Area

Education, English as a Second Language|Education, Secondary|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Sharada Sekar, "A study of the predictors of academic success among high school English language learners in one urban Tennessee school district" (2009). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3389367.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3389367

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