OUR IMPACT

We have over a decade of experience implementing our evidence-based and research-tested model. We foster systems change by partnering with educators across the state and by helping transform classrooms into language-rich, rigorous, joyful learning environments.

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From 2015 to 2019, Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Equity for English Learners (CEEL), in partnership with the Wexford Institute, conducted a rigorous multi-year evaluation of the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) model in 67 schools from 12 districts.

This replication study followed a previous evaluation of SEAL in two Bay Area school districts. The evaluators found that SEAL improved teaching practices and that SEAL English Learners demonstrated stronger student engagement as well as positive language development and academic outcomes. This evidence demonstrates that SEAL can be replicated at scale.

Student Outcomes

SEAL’s research-based model and results demonstrate that when we design powerful learning opportunities that put English Learners at the heart of our education system, they succeed.

The CEEL and Wexford Institute study found that students in SEAL schools were more joyful and engaged in their learning, and demonstrated positive outcomes in English and Spanish language development as well as in English language arts and mathematics achievement. This supports a previous evaluation that found that students in SEAL pilot sites demonstrated significant gains on language, literacy and cognition measures.

SEAL students demonstrated positive outcomes in 4 key areas:

Student Engagement

Educators reported that students were more joyful, confident, and engaged following the implementation of the SEAL model.

English Language Development

Most ELs started kindergarten with beginning or early intermediate levels of English fluency; by the fourth grade most had already been reclassified as English proficient or were ready for reclassification.

Academic Achievement

By fourth grade, SEAL Ever ELs and Reclassified Fluent English Proficient students performed as well as or better than their peers statewide in both English language arts and math, even though SEAL schools have higher concentrations of socioeconomically disadvantaged students than California schools as a whole.

Biliteracy

SEAL EL students in bilingual programs also improved in their home language, Spanish, while those in English-only classrooms suffered Spanish language loss.

SEAL students demonstrated positive outcomes in 4 key areas:

Student Engagement

Educators reported that students were more joyful, confident, and engaged following the implementation of the SEAL model.

English Language Development

Most ELs started kindergarten with beginning or early intermediate levels of English fluency; by the fourth grade most had already been reclassified as English proficient or were ready for reclassification.

Academic Achievement

By fourth grade, SEAL Ever ELs and Reclassified Fluent English Proficient students performed as well as or better than their peers statewide in both English language arts and math, even though SEAL schools have higher concentrations of socioeconomically disadvantaged students than California schools as a whole.

Biliteracy

SEAL EL students in bilingual programs also improved in their home language, Spanish, and their English language proficiency progressed at a greater rate than it did for ELs in Standard English Immersion (SEI) programs.

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Educator Practice

The SEAL model is a comprehensive approach to systems change that couples professional learning for teachers with leadership development opportunities for district and site-level administrators and instructional coaches. School and district staff engage in this professional learning for two to three years.

According to the evaluation findings, teachers in SEAL schools who received SEAL training significantly increased their use of research-based best practices for teaching English Learners and increased their confidence and sense of efficacy as educators. Teachers also reported being more effective at engaging families of English Learners in their children’s learning and making home-to-school connections.

Educator Practice

The SEAL model is a comprehensive approach to systems change that couples professional learning for teachers with leadership development opportunities for district and site-level administrators and instructional coaches. School and district staff engage in this professional learning for two to three years.

According to the evaluation findings, teachers in SEAL schools who received SEAL training significantly increased their use of research-based best practices for teaching English Learners and increased their confidence and sense of efficacy as educators. Teachers also reported being more effective at engaging families of English Learners in their children’s learning and making home-to-school connections.

Implementing and Sustaining SEAL

SEAL is successful because it is a comprehensive whole-school, systemic change strategy. It encourages district leaders, principals, and teachers to establish systems and practices that support language development, literacy, and engaging, joyful learning—not just for English Learners, but for all students. SEAL also encourages these leaders and educators to use SEAL’s Depth of Implementation Tool to continuously improve by regularly reflecting upon how deeply they are implementing the model.

The multiyear evaluation found that SEAL can be replicated across districts throughout California. Yet while SEAL has taken root in many classrooms, schools, and districts, others are still working to implement SEAL consistently and in a way that is sustainable. To strengthen and sustain SEAL in current schools and implement it in others, schools and districts will need to support those in the coach–facilitator role, invest in continued professional learning, create more coherence with SEAL and other initiatives across grade levels, use data to support improvement, and provide time for district and site-level planning and for teacher collaboration.

Evaluation Publications

SEAL Evaluation Findings
Fact Sheet
October 2021

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Supporting Pandemic Recovery for English Learners and Dual Language Learners
Policy Brief
October 2021

Download

Sobrato Family Foundation Early Academic Language and Literacy Project After Five Full Years of Implementation
Research Report
March 2015

Download

SEAL Evaluation Findings
Summary Brief Describing a Multiyear
Evaluation Studying SEAL’s Replication
October 2021

Download

SEAL Model: Final Report of Findings from a Four Year Study of Replication
January 2020

View

Evaluation Publications

SEAL Evaluation Findings
Fact Sheet
October 2021

DOWNLOAD

SEAL Evaluation Findings
Summary Brief Describing a Multiyear
Evaluation Studying SEAL’s Replication
October 2021

DOWNLOAD

Supporting Pandemic Recovery for English Learners and Dual Language Learners
Policy Brief
October 2021

DOWNLOAD

Sobrato Family Foundation Early Academic Language and Literacy Project After Five Full Years of Implementation
Research Report
March 2015

DOWNLOAD

SEAL Model: Final Report of Findings from a Four Year Study of Replication
January 2020

DOWNLOAD