A new study, titled Diversity in Schools: Immigrants and the Educational Performance of U.S. Born Students, by David N. Figlio, Paola Giuliano, Riccardo Marchingiglio, Umut Özek & Paola Sapienza, comes to conclusions that many teachers already knew – that the presence of immigrant students definitely does not negatively impact non-immigrant students and, in fact, results in increased achievement for everybody.
Though their explanations for this effect seem a bit convoluted, even for an academic paper, they suggest that one reason could be less class disruptive behavior.
However, they don’t even seem to mention the obvious reason, which is why our school has actively recruited English Language Learners students for many years:
Having ELLs in classes makes all of us better teachers because good ELL teaching is good teaching for everybody!
It makes all teachers have to more specifically take into consideration issues like prior knowledge, scaffolding, maximizing accessibility, etc.
So, it’s always great to have research supporting ELLs but, come on, sometimes it appears that researchers can’t see the forest through the trees…..