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Mathematics achievement of language-minority students during the elementary years

Hampden-Thompson, Gillian; Mulligan, Gail; Kinukawa, Akemi; Halle, Tamara


Gail Mulligan

Akemi Kinukawa

Tamara Halle


This Issue Brief uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) to examine the scores of public-school language-minority students on a mathematics assessment in 1st grade, as well as the gain in their scores between 1st and 5th grades. Scores are reported by three background characteristics--student?s race/ethnicity, poverty status, and mother?s education--that have been found to be related to achievement. The findings indicate that language-minority students (English Proficient students and English Language Learners) scored lower on a 1st-grade mathematics assessment than did students whose primary home language was English. Between 1st and 5th grades, there was no measurable difference in gain scores on the mathematics assessment among the three language groups. However, gain score differences within and between the language groups were found by student background characteristics. For example, Asian language-minority students made greater gains than their Hispanic peers.


Hampden-Thompson, G., Mulligan, G., Kinukawa, A., & Halle, T. (2008). Mathematics achievement of language-minority students during the elementary years. U.S. Department of Education. Institute of Education Sciences

Report Type Technical Report
Publication Date 2008
Deposit Date Oct 25, 2023
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