Publications & Resources

Measuring Opportunity to Learn and Academic Language Exposure for English Language Learners in Elementary Science Classrooms

Jan 2010

José Felipe Martínez, Alison L. Bailey, Deirdre Kerr, Becky H. Huang, and Stacey Beauregard

The present study piloted a survey-based measure of Opportunity to Learn (OTL) and Academic Language Exposure (ALE) in fourth grade science classrooms that sought to distinguish teacher practices with ELL (English language learner) and non-ELL students. In the survey, participant teachers reported on their instructional practices and the context in their science classrooms. A small subsample was also observed teaching a lesson in their classroom on two occasions. The pilot data were used to investigate basic psychometric properties of the survey: specifically (a) the dimensions underlying the survey items, in particular whether OTL and ALE are distinct or overlapping features or dimensions of science instruction and (b) the match between information reported by teachers in the survey, and that collected by classroom observers. Qualitative analyses of observation and teacher open ended responses in the survey informed the interpretation of the quantitative analysis results and provided useful insights for refining the survey instrument to better capture the classroom experiences of ELL students.

Martínez, J. F., Bailey, A. L., Kerr, D., Huang, B. H., & Beauregard, S. (2009). Measuring opportunity to learn and academic language exposure for English language learners in elementary science classrooms (CRESST Report 767). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).