Evaluating English Learner Progress in Reading: How Much Growth Can We Expect?

Robert David Richardson, Louis Marshall Rocconi, Margaret Adams Crewdson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to explore whether or not English learners (ELs) have the same annual rates of reading progress as non-EL counterparts in Grades 1 through 3 when accounting for beginning-of-the-year reading levels, economic disadvantage, and classroom effects. Though significant differences between ELs and non-ELs were found, regression analyses indicated that large portions of the differences in growth between ELs and non-ELs are attributable to economic disadvantage and classroom effects, suggesting that contextual variables matter more than English language status. Furthermore, a large portion of ELs from across English oral language proficiency levels make typical or well above typical progress. These results suggest that interventionists should use the same goal setting and intervention evaluation procedures for EL students that are used in the general population. Rather than lowering expectations for reading progress, educators should boost intervention potency when ELs are not meeting growth goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-492
Number of pages13
JournalSchool Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 National Association of School Psychologists.


  • Acadience
  • English learner
  • Tanya Eckert
  • curriculum-based measurement
  • growth
  • pathways of progress
  • progress monitoring
  • reading
  • response to intervention


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