Math and science achievement in English Language Learners: Multivariate latent growth modeling of predictors, mediators, and moderators. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(3), 580-602. AbstractThe effectiveness of various strategies for educating the growing U.S. population of English language learners(ELLs) has attracted a great deal of controversy. Bilingual education theory posits that retention and continueddevelopment of native language (L1) skills facilitate academic achievement through two mediating mechanisms.First, L1 proficiency promotes second language (L2) acquisition, which is required to succeedacademically. Second, competence in the heritage language positively influences academic achievement bymaintaining self-esteem. Both of these mediational chains were tested in a multivariate latent growth modelof longitudinal data from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88/2000). L1 proficiency wasspecified to predict distal math and science outcomes through its association with both L2 literacy andself-esteem. In turn, academic self-concept was hypothesized to mediate the self-esteem–academic achievementrelation. Home and school characteristics were included as covariates. The full model exhibited excellentfit only in the Hispanic portion of the ELL sample. Consistent with the broader literature, ethnicity appears toserve as an important moderator of the way native language proficiency relates to self-perception, L2acquisition, and math and science achievement.
“Math and science achievement in English Language Learners: Multivariate latent growth modeling of predictors, mediators, and moderators” was printed in the August 2012 Journal of Educational Psychology.