Fang Lai,Linxiu Zhang, Qinghe Qu , Xiao Hu,Yaojiang Shi,Matthew Boswell, Scott Rozelle
The education of disadvantaged populations has been a long-standing challenge to the education system in both developed and developing countries. This paper uses a cluster randomized field experiment in 57 schools (26 schools were part of the CAL program; 31 control schools were not) to explore the effects of the CAL program on student academic and non-cognitive outcomes for students in public schools in minority rural areas in China. Our results show that a remedial, game-based CAL program that focused on teaching Standard Chinese (Mandarin) held out of regular school hours improved the standardized Mandarin scores of the students in the treatment schools by 0.14-0.20 standard deviations more than those in the control schools. Moreover, CAL also had significant spillover effects on student standardized math test scores. Still further, our results also show insignificant positive effects of CAL intervention on student non-academic outcomes of interest in studying and metacognition, and significant positive effect on student
self-efficacy of Mandarin studying. In general, low-performing students benefited more from the program.