Examining the role of language in school policies on the academic outcomes of English language learners
With the population of ELs entering Texas public schools increasing, it is essential to understand how the current school system supports these students. This study investigated the language used in school handbooks as a predictor of English Language Learners' (ELL) academic outcomes in Texas Independent School Districts. Student handbooks from Independent School Districts in the state of Texas were accessed and analyzed utilizing Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC-22). The research compared the relationships of various variables including ELL dropout rates, ELL student enrollment rates, and the use of culture- and drive-based language in student handbooks. Results indicated significant relationships between culture- and drive-based language in student handbooks and ELL dropout rates. The results of the research study help to better understand the relationship between school policies and the academic trajectory of English Language Learners in Texas. The data used in this study was secondary, thus limitations were expected. Further implications of school policies and the academic trajectories of ELLs are discussed.