This article presents qualitative research findings about the characteristics and prior schooling experiences of "long-term English language learners (LTELLs)," who have attended U.S. schools for seven years or more, and about whom there is little empirical research, despite their significant numbers. Findings indicate that these students are orally bilingual for social purposes, yet have limited academic literacy skills in English or in their native languages as a result of prior schooling experiences. Two main groups of LTELLs are identified: (1) students with inconsistent U.S. schooling, who have shifted between bilingual education, English as a Second Language (ESL), and mainstream classrooms with no language support programming, and (2) transnational students, who have moved back and forth between the United States and their families' countries of origin. It argues that programming for "LTELLs" in high school must be distinctive, and offers policy and practice recommendations.
Teaching Methods and Strategies
Students with Interrupted Formal Education
State and Local Policy
Program Design and Implementation
Long-term English Learners
Administration and Leadership