English as a Second Language (ESL) reform in British Columbia (BC) has led to a slight increase in standardized tests reading scores of students from Kindergarten to Grade12, while also reducing costs. ESL is a program aimed at helping young immigrants whose home language is not English to improve their language skills in order to do better at school. Students' relative standings in standardized tests in the province were compared before and after the implementation of the reform. The prediction that the reform would have adverse effects was not supported. The reform, implemented in 1999 in BC, limited supplementary funding to five years per student and increased the value of the annual funding supplement for ESL students. The reform was found to have a dramatic impact on the exit rate of ESL programs at the end of the fifth year.

Bibliographic Notes

The brief was written by Meng Yu.