Each year, Massachusetts schools enroll an increasing and diverse number of English learners (ELs) with limited or interrupted formal education. Students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) often possess a variety of school readiness skills, sociolinguistic proficiencies, content knowledge, and academic ways of thinking different from students who have consistently attended Massachusetts schools.
Definition and Guidance
Interactive Guide to SLIFE Students
In Spring 2022, the Office of Language Acquisition partnered with the Center for Applied Linguistics CAL) to begin a multi-year research project designed to better understand SLIFE, to synthesize national trends and best practices, and ultimately, to support the state in meeting the academic and socio-emotional needs of these students.
The first goal of this project was to conduct a national literature review, focusing on two primary research questions:
Here is the completed literature review and executive summary:
Understanding and Supporting Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) in Massachusetts: A Review of Literature — November 4, 2022
Understanding and Supporting Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE) in Massachusetts: Literature Review Summary
This project will continue through 2025 and includes the following additional components:
Year 2 (2022-23): a quantitative analysis of DESE's existing data regarding SLIFE
Years 3-4 (2023-25): qualitative research about current SLIFE and educators in Massachusetts through focus groups, surveys, interviews, student shadowing, and classroom observations
Last Updated: November 17, 2022
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