A Retrospective Study

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Description

The aim of this research is to gain a better understanding of what it takes for an ESL (English as a Second Language) student to feel a sense of belonging within their primary and secondary schools. The study will have two separate components; the first will be a compilation of three years of data from Lane Tech High School for ESL students focusing on student GPA scores, attendance records, and disciplinary referrals. The collected data will be analyzed to determine significant difference between ESL students who are ESL Transition Group members and non-members. The second will be focus group data that will be gathered during focus group interviews conducted at UIC. These focus groups will consist UIC ESL who took ESL classes either during their primary or secondary school. The collected data will be analyzed to determine the most and least effective experiences, recurring trends and themes, and what either aided or hindered these students to feel a sense of belonging. By gaining an understanding of UIC ESL students’ sense of belonging when they attend primary and secondary school, we will relate the results to that of the Lane Tech high school ESL students. An extensive review of the literature reveals that the number of ESL students has grown considerably in the last two decades. Research has shown sense of belonging is an important factor that influences student achievement in school. There is also extensive evidence regarding variation of sense of belonging among minority groups and the crucial role of educators in creating a sense of belonging for students. This study found that there is a significant difference in ESL students’ reported sense of belonging between those who undertook specific program for ESL students and those who did not. Additionally, we found that students who are members of ESL transition groups increase their attendance and GPA scores and decrease their disciplinary referrals. The findings of the research will be presented in a report to Lane Tech high school.