Hispanic Learning Trajectories: Country of Origin, Generational Status and English Ability in the Early School Years

Claudia L. Galindo, Pennsylvania State University

The proposed study uses the ECLS-K database to examine Hispanic students’ math and reading learning trajectories between kindergarten and third grade. Specifically, this study describes differences in average learning trajectories among Hispanics of different country of origin and of distinct immigrant generations. In addition, I investigate how Hispanic students’ learning trajectories are shaped by their English ability. A piecewise linear growth model is used to estimate learning growth during kindergarten, in first grade, and between first and third grade. Hierarchical Linear Modeling is used to analyze three level models – assessments nested within students, students nested within classes or schools. Preliminary results show significant differences in learning trajectories among Hispanic subgroups and between Hispanic subgroups and Whites. Students’ English ability significantly reduces the score gaps at Kindergarten entry and the differences in growth rates between Hispanic subgroups and Whites.

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Presented in Session 24: Immigrants, Language, and Culture