The Journalism for English Learners Program is a research-based program developed to improve the English skills and academic achievement of English Learners (ELs) in grades 3-5 who have been in US schools at least four years. It is designed to be part of a comprehensive plan to prevent Long term English Learner status for upper-elementary ELs who are at the Beginning, Early Intermediate or Intermediate English proficiency level (Emerging - Expanding); and score below "Basic" levels on standardized English Language Arts assessments.
Unlike current intervention programs that replicate existing practices, this program provides support for ELs' language and literacy development via a specially designed journalism curriculum. The 10-unit curriculum is delivered through a cycle of 40 hours of instruction, 4 hours per week, and develops listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through analyzing the structure and elements of written investigative journalistic articles.
The project-based program culminates in the publication of a district-wide newspaper featuring articles written by participating student-journalists.