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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Institute of Education Sciences
English Language Learners

IES What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question No
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication No
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of studies meeting the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards investigating the effectiveness of of various reading programs on the literacy and language development of English language learners. The effectiveness of the intervention was categorized as Meets Evidence Standards, Meets Evidence Standards with Reservation or Does Not Meet Evidence Standard based on the What Works Clearinghouse classification system. Well-designed randomized controlled trials are considered strong evidence (Meets Evidence Standards), quasi-experimental studies are considered weaker evidence (Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations) and single-case design studies are considered insufficient evidence or under development (Does Not Meet Evidence Standards).

Question(s) Addressed:

Question not specifically stated.

Population: Elementary aged (grades K-6) English language learners.

Intervention/Assessment: Language literacy and/or academic achievement programs (e.g. instructional conversation, vocabulary improvement program, FastFoward, Reading Mastery).

Number of Studies Included: 16

Years Included: Not specified



  • Treatment
    • Language
      • Reading
        • Sixteen studies were included examining 12 reading programs; eight of which met the WWC criteria for Meets Evidence Standard and eight for Meets Evidence Standards with reservations.
        • The following treatment programs demonstrated positive effects in reading achievement and English language development:
          • Bilingual Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition
          • Instructional Conversations and Literature Logs
          • Vocabulary Improvement Program
        • "Eight other programs and practices had potentially positive effects in one domain. One program had no discernible effects in two domains" (p. 1).

Keywords: English Language Learners, Literacy

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Added to Compendium: December 2011

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