The Middle School Classroom Language Environment: Interactions Among Teachers and Youth and Effects on Literacy

What features of classroom language environments influence middle-school students’ language and reading skills?

This study will describe middle-school classroom language settings and how different features influence the literacy outcomes of language-minority youth and their classroom peers. Forty sixth-grade English Language Arts classrooms from the Chicago and Boston areas (20 from each area) and approximately 1,200 teachers and students in those classrooms will participate in the study. The team will use multiple methods and data sources to assess classroom environment and student growth. They will conduct videotaped observations of the classrooms five times during the academic year. Five language minority and five English-only students from each classroom will wear recording devices that collect audio recordings of their interactions with teachers.

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