Helping Newcomer Students Succeed in Secondary Schools and Beyond

Grantees in this story

A new report funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York focuses attention on newcomer adolescent English language learners at the middle and high school grades and offers promising practices for serving their educational and social needs. 

The report is based on a 3-year national research study, Exemplary Programs for Newcomer English Language Learners at the Secondary Level, conducted by the Center for Applied Linguistics on behalf of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. This research project consisted of a national survey of secondary school newcomer programs; compilation of program profiles into an online, searchable database; and case studies of 10 of these programs, selected for their exemplary practices. 

Helping Newcomer Students Succeed in Secondary Schools and Beyond addresses the successes, challenges, and day-today implementation of newcomer programs, drawing from information provided by the programs that participated in the national survey and those that served as case study sites. This report shows how successful newcomer programs develop students’ academic English literacy skills, provide access to the content courses that lead to college and career readiness, and guide students’ acculturation to U.S. schools and their eventual participation in civic life and the global economy. 

The findings in this report show that there is no one set model for a newcomer program. Middle and high school newcomer students exhibit a variety of characteristics and thus programs must be carefully designed to meet their needs. Besides newcomers’ different native languages and countries of origin, the differences in their literacy skills and educational backgrounds prove to be the most important.