Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



We estimate the academic impacts of eligibility for and participation in an intensive English program aimed at English Learners (ELs) with very low English proficiency. The program is a short-term intervention to introduce students to basic English skills—academic and social—before they transfer to their neighborhood school. Our results indicate that ELs who are eligible for the program have lower English Language Arts (ELA) achievement in the short term, relative to ELs who receive traditional English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction. These findings are concentrated among older ELs. In subsample analyses, however, we find that refugee ELs who are eligible for the program have higher ELA and math achievement in the short term.