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About Us

The Center for the Success of English Learners (CSEL) is improving access and outcomes for +5 million ELs across the United States.

research_policy_education_english learners
  • English learners (ELs) make up nearly 10 percent of the K–12 student population in the United States, or 5 million students.

  • From 2008 to 2017, the percentage of ELLs has grown from 8.1 percent, or 3.8 million students, to 10.1 percent, or 5.0 million students.

  • Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington have reported the highest percentage of ELLs among its public school students.

  • Spanish represents the home language of nearly 75% of all EL public school students, and 7.6 percent of all public K–12 students. 

The Transdisciplinary Approaches to Improving Opportunities and Outcomes for English Learners (a.k.a. The Center for the Success of English Learners, CSEL) will undertake a focused program of research aimed at identifying and removing barriers related to school tracking through analysis of administrative and newly collected data using a mixed methods approach.

In addition, the center will develop and test interventions that leverage four transdisciplinary approaches intended to improve instruction for English learners (ELs) in science and social studies.

The transdisciplinary levers include:

  1. Foregrounding content to build language through content instruction;

  2. Using activities that are engaging and meaningful to students while involving students in the practices of the discipline;

  3. Organizing learning in heterogeneous teams (Team-Based Learning, TBL) to promote collaboration, discussion, and social motivation; and

  4. Making use of formative assessment both to improve teachers' and students' understanding of students' development and to also promote responsive instruction and feedback to students.

The Center's research is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305C200016 to the University of Houston.

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