My research addresses how curriculum and instruction, teacher education, and policy interact to shape the classroom experiences of English learners (ELs) in K-12 schools, within the broader political, historical, economic, and sociocultural context. Across the diverse projects I conduct, I seek to further the goals for educational practices for ELs laid out in the Castañeda decision – that such practices be based on sound theory, be well-implemented, and have positive academic outcomes for ELs. In approaching this research, I apply a wide variety of methods, ranging from discourse analysis to multilevel statistical modeling, to illuminate English learners’ experiences in classrooms. While I document the mismatch that frequently exists between the needs of English learners and their schooling experiences, I also identify particular contexts and conditions that appear to facilitate students’ English acquisition and academic achievement.
Robinson-Cimpian, J. P., Thompson, K. D., & Umanksy, I. M. (2016). Research and policy considerations for English learner equity. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3(1), 129-137.
Robinson-Cimpian, J. P. & Thompson, K. D. (2015). The effects of changing test-based policies for reclassifying English learners. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/pam.21882
Thompson, K. D. (2015). Questioning the Long-Term English Learner label: How classification and categorization can blind us to students’ abilities. Teachers College Record, 117(12), 1-50.
Thompson, K. D. (2015). English learners’ time to reclassification: An analysis. Educational Policy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0895904815598394
Thompson, K. D. (2013). Is separate always unequal? A philosophical examination of ideas of equality in key cases regarding racial and linguistic minorities in education. American Educational Research Journal, 50(6), 1249-1278.
Hopkins, M., Thompson, K. D., Linquanti, R., August, D., & Hakuta, K. (2013). Fully accounting for English learner performance: A key issue in ESEA reauthorization. Educational Researcher, 42(2): 101-108.
Thompson, K. D. and Hakuta, K. (2011). Education and bilingualism. In J. P. Gee and M. Handford (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of discourse analysis (pp. 396-411). New York: Routledge.
Wentworth, L., Pellegrin, N., Thompson, K. D., & Hakuta, K. (2010). Proposition 227 in California: A long-term appraisal of its impact on language minority student achievement. In P. Gándara and M. Hopkins (Eds.), Forbidden language: English learners and restricted language policies (pp. 37-49). New York: Teachers College Press.