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Attitudes and opinions of Navajo students toward Navajo language and culture programs in schools making AYP and those not making AYP

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The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes and opinions of Navajo students toward the Navajo language and culture programs within the schools they were attending. Although in the final year of the No Child Left Behind, a

The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes and opinions of Navajo students toward the Navajo language and culture programs within the schools they were attending. Although in the final year of the No Child Left Behind, a majority of the 265 schools on and near the Navajo reservation have not been making Adequate Yearly Progress, a concern for the parents, teachers, administrators, school board members, and the Navajo Nation. The study entailed conducting a survey at five schools; three of which were not meeting the requirements of the No Child Left Behind. The purpose of the survey instrument (27 questions) administered to the students at the five schools was to examine their attitudes and opinions as to participating in Navajo language and culture programs, to determine if the programs assisted them in their academic achievements, and to examine whether these programs actually made a difference for schools in their Adequate Yearly Progress requirement Approximately 87% of 99 Navajo students, 55 boys and 58 girls, ages 9 through 14, Grades 3 through 8, who lived off the reservation in Flagstaff, Arizona and Gallup, New Mexico, and took the survey knew and spoke Navajo, but less fluently and not to a great extent. However, the students endorsed learning Navajo and strongly agreed that the Navajo language and culture should be part of the curriculum. Historically there have been schools such as the Rock Point Community School, Rough Rock Demonstration School, Borrego Pass Community School, and Ramah Community School that have been successful in their implementation of bilingual programs. The question presently facing Navajo educators is what type of programs would be successful within the context of the No Child Left Behind federal legislation. Can there be replications of successful Navajo language and culture programs into schools that are not making Adequate Yearly Progress?

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Date Created
2013

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Fostering self-efficacy in Spanish immersion teachers through a community of practice

Description

Learning a second language has been shown to have many benefits, but in the

state of Arizona the teaching and learning of second languages has been restricted since the passing of Proposition 203. In the past few years, schools offering Dual

Learning a second language has been shown to have many benefits, but in the

state of Arizona the teaching and learning of second languages has been restricted since the passing of Proposition 203. In the past few years, schools offering Dual Language Immersion programs have emerged, but their teachers do not have much experience, training or resources to teach language through content. Language immersion self- efficacy has been shown to be crucial for the teachers to be more effective in their instruction and for them to embrace the challenges they face.

The purpose of this action research study was to increase Spanish immersion teachers' self-efficacy through a community of practice, in which teachers performed peer observations and offered feedback, collaboratively drew from a pool of resources that were available online for all to use, and supported each other in the areas they felt could be improved.

Quantitative data included pre- and post- intervention self-efficacy surveys, as well as a retrospective survey. Qualitative data included audio recordings and field notes from the community of practice sessions, teacher observations, peer observations, and feedback meetings, as well as interviews.

Results from the analysis of data showed an increase of teachers’ self-efficacy because of the close collaboration and resource sharing that took place during the implementation of the community of practice. Teachers also reported positive changes in practice due to peer observations and collegial conversations during meetings, where teachers could acknowledge their own successes and use ideas from others to improve their practice. Finally, despite all the positive outcomes from this action research study, it was evident there were some systemic issues the community of practice could not change, such as the lack of resources and appropriate curriculum for Spanish immersion teachers.

Many parents and educators have agreed our students should have the opportunity of becoming bilingual to face global competition more effectively. Because of that, Spanish immersion schools have been growing in popularity in Arizona. Moreover, it has become clear that as we have more schools and teachers willing to adopt these programs, more resources must be made available to support immersion teachers and their instruction.

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Date Created
2016