Variability in ESL Outcomes: The Influence of Age on Arrival and Length of Residence on Achievement in High School
AbstractThis article integrates findings from earlier research (Roessingh and Kover, 2003; Roessingh, Kover, and Watt, 2005) linking distinct patterns of achievement for diverse age-on-arrival (AOA) cohorts of ESL learners on the grade 12 Alberta English language arts (ELA) examination to their vocabulary and reading comprehension scores on a standardized measure over time. Recasting the data and conducting simple statistical procedures can offer further insights into the features of cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP): the relationship between vocabulary development and academic performance. I consider ESL program effects and the connection between age on arrival, vocabulary size, and achievement outcomes as reflected on the ELA examination. I compare the ESL students' scores with those of a random sample of their native-speaking (NS) academic counterparts to note patterns among the various cohorts of learners. The results suggest that measures of language proficiency (e.g., vocabulary) can be used to gain direct insights into students' academic achievement. This work has important implications for the development of theoretical growth models that would establish language-learning trajectories of good ESL progress for varied AOA and lengths of residence (LOR) fitted against a NS trajectory.
How to Cite
Roessingh, H. (2008). Variability in ESL Outcomes: The Influence of Age on Arrival and Length of Residence on Achievement in High School. TESL Canada Journal, 26(1), 87–107. https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v26i1.392