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Boys & Girls Club Participation and English Language Development among English Learner Students

Rebecca London and Oded Gurantz
Publication Date: 
January, 2009

In this analysis, researchers at the Gardner Center used the Youth Data Archive to match English Learning students’ achievement data from the Redwood City School District to attendance data from the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula to study the link between afterschool program participation and English language development. Results from this analysis indicate that Boys & Girls Club attendance is associated with gains in English proficiency from one academic year to the next. Specifically, English Learning youth who participate in Boys & Girls Club programming for 90 or more days in an academic year, compared to their peers who did not participate, are more likely to: (1) improve their CELDT proficiency level from one year to the next; (2) attain English Proficient status on the CELDT; and, (3) improve on the Listening and Speaking portions of the CELDT. This analysis surfaced some possibilities for how afterschool programs might support English Learners; for example, 1) increasing opportunities for language development through additional volunteer outreach; 2) facilitating peer teaching and bilingual interaction between English Learning and English‐speaking youth; 3) minimizing transportation and financial barriers to participation; 4) establishing “walking school buses” and recruiting older participants to escort younger children.  This analysis points to the potentially powerful role of after school programming in helping students achieve English language proficiency. 

Suggested citation: 

London, R. and Gurantz, O. (2009). Boys & Girls Club participation and English Language development among English Learner students.  Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities.

Bay Area
Policy area: 
Out-of-School Time