Schools are tasked with the responsibility of educating students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Teachers are tasked with finding and implementing effective teaching strategies for every student in their classroom. English Language Learners (ELLs), students who are not fluent speakers of English, represent an increasing population of students within the education system that have unique instructional needs. The goal of this study was to provide regular education teachers with instructional strategies targeted toward the educational needs of ELLs.
This study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to gather data. Data sources include using pre-post innovation surveys, self-reflection forms, post-innovation interviews, and field notes. For this study, nine public school teachers from different (representing different content areas) and two English Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) teachers were used.
The innovation for this study was the implementation of a whole group professional development (PD) session and access to a digital toolbox that provided teachers with instructional strategies for ELLs. The strategies provided in the whole group PD session and the digital toolbox were based on the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model.
The results of the study show that the instructional strategies provided to the teachers from the innovation positively impacted the teacher’s ability to teach ELLs. Additionally, teachers liked the format of the whole group PD session and the Digital Toolbox as a way to learn new teaching strategies related to ELLs.