Author ORCID Identifier

Kristen C. Wilcox:

Document Type


Publication Date



This multiple case study investigated characteristics of six elementary schools in New York State with statistically significant better performance outcomes among their English language learner (ELL) students. Through documentary evidence, classroom observations, and interviews with students, teachers, and administrators, a system-wide approach to adaptations that benefit ELL students was identified. These adaptations were evident in: (a) school cultures that embrace ideals of equity of opportunity and celebrate diversity; (b) school climates that evoke a sense of safety and welcome; and (c) processes and practices that support advocacy for ELLs and their families. While the schools shared these common characteristics, educators employed some unique approaches in rural, suburban, and urban schools, holding implications for policies that take into account contextual variances in schools and communities.


Publisher Acknowledgment:

This is the Publisher’s PDF of the following article made available by NYS TESOL Journal Wilcox, K. C., Gregory, K., Yu, F.*, & Leo, A.* (2017). Culturally and linguistically-adapted school systems: A study of promising practices in odds-beating elementary schools. NYS TESOL Journal. 4(2), 35-47.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Included in

Education Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright

Terms of Use

This article is made available under the Scholars Archive Terms of Use.