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Effect of a performing arts program on the oral language skills of young English learners

  • Author(s): Brouillette, Liane
  • Greenfader, Christs
  • Farkas, George
  • et al.

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Although English oral language proficiency in the primary grades is critical to the literacy development of English learners (ELs), we know little about how to foster these skills. This study examined a yearlong K–2 drama and creative movement intervention. A randomized experimental design (N = 5,240) was used to address two research questions: (1) Did participating ELs perform better on oral language assessments than those who did not receive the inter- vention? (2) Was the impact of the program moderated by students’ baseline English-language skills? Student speaking and listening skills were measured using the California English Language Development Test. The treatment group (N = 902) outperformed controls (N = 4,338) on speaking assessments. ELs with the most limited English speaking abilities at baseline benefited most from the program.

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