Purposeful Engagement in Academic Rigor and Language Learning: Effects of the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) Model to Prevent Long Term English Learner Status

The School of Education's Center for Equity for English Learners is leading a consortium that includes LAUSD and Sobrato Early Academic Language, a nonprofit that aims to elevate English learners and promote bilingualism for students statewide. The five-year grant funded by a National Professional Development grant awarded from US Department of Education's Office for English Language Acquisition will fund the creation and investigation of a research and evidence-based professional learning program for district and school leaders, coaches, teachers, and families.

Of LAUSD’s 214,499 TK-fifth grade students, roughly 29 percent are English learners; this grant focuses on assisting educators to decrease the percent of those who are at risk of remaining ELs throughout their school careers.

The Purposeful Engagement in Academic Rigor and Language Learning (PEARLL) project is guided by three goals: improving and increasing the use of evidence/research-based strategies in TK-fifth grade classrooms; engaging families in literacy activities with their children, and creating a pipeline of newly authorized bilingual teachers. Educators will challenge students in their development of complex academic vocabulary and language, and immerse them in rich literature and high-level informational text, among other strategies.

PEARLL will be implemented in approximately 25 schools in four of LAUSD’s local districts that serve high numbers of English learners. Overall, the project will serve approximately 166 current teachers, as well as district and site leaders. To increase the pipeline of highly qualified bilingual teachers of ELs, 25 LMU teachers in training will participate in the program and complete their California teaching credentials and bilingual authorization.

Project PEARLL is to provide a comprehensive research and evidence-based Professional Learning (PL) program for district and school leaders, coaches, teachers, and families to improve learning environments and classroom instruction for ELs, assisting educators who work with ELs in meeting high professional standards and preventing Long Term English Learner status by improving student language and literacy achievement.

Three goals guide project PEARLL: A) Improve and increase the use of evidence/research-based strategies in grades TK-5 classrooms to improve outcomes for ELs and other students, and to prevent LTELs; (B) Engage families in literacy activities with their children to improve student outcomes; (C) Create a pipeline of newly authorized bilingual teachers.