More than a new country: Effects of immigration, home language, and school mobility on elementary students’ academic achievement over time
Keywords:Student Achievement, Immigrant Education, Standardized Testing
This study investigated the effects of immigration and home language on academic achievement over time. Using data from Ontario’s Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics administered to the same students in Grades 3 and 6, logistic regression was used to predict if students achieved proficiency in Grade 6 if they were not proficient in Grade 3. The results indicate that home language or interactions with home language are significant in most cases. In addition, students who speak a language other than or in addition to English at home are, in general, a little more likely to be proficient at Grade 6. Most students who were born outside of Canada were significantly more likely than students born in Canada to stay or become proficient in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics by Grade 6. These results highlight the importance of considering the enormous heterogeneity of immigrants’ experiences when studying the effects of immigration on academic performance and the dire limitations of datasets that do not collect such data.