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English language learner participation practices: the social purpose of classroom discourse in an Arizona English language development summer program middle school classroom

Description

This thesis study describes English Language Learner (ELL) participation practices in a summer English language development (ELD) middle school classroom in a public school district in Arizona. The purpose of

This thesis study describes English Language Learner (ELL) participation practices in a summer English language development (ELD) middle school classroom in a public school district in Arizona. The purpose of the study was to document Mexican immigrant and Mexican American English learners' language experiences in a prescriptive ELD program in relation to the social, historical and cultural context. The study utilizes a sociocultural framework and critical language awareness concepts as well as qualitative interpretive inquiry to answer the following research questions: What is the nature of ELL participation during language lessons? That is, what are the common participation practices in the classroom? What social or cultural values or norms are evident in the classroom talk during language lessons? That is, in what ways do participants use language for social purposes? And, what is the cultural model of ELD evident in the classroom language practices? Data collection and analyses consisted of close examination of ELL participation within official language lessons as well as the social uses of language in the classroom. Analysis of classroom discourse practices revealed that ELL participation was heavily controlled within the common Initiation-Response-Evaluation pattern and that the students were limited to repetition and recitation responses. Further, analysis of discourse content demonstrated that classroom participants used language for social purposes in the classroom, most often using regulatory, decontextualized and resistance language. The findings revealed a cultural model of constrained ELD language practices that can be considered a pedagogy of subtractive assimilation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010

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Giving the students a voice: surveying students about Arizona's structured English immersion restrictive language policy

Description

This study explores the relationship between restrictive language policies and dropout influences for language minority students. It furthers understanding of factors related to school attachment and restrictive language policies through

This study explores the relationship between restrictive language policies and dropout influences for language minority students. It furthers understanding of factors related to school attachment and restrictive language policies through an analysis of student's attitudes towards their imposed curriculum. Few studies to date have addressed English language learners' (ELLs') attitudes toward school, especially when schools enforce highly restrictive language policies, and the implications of these student perceptions as related to students' level of attachment to school in general. This study addresses this gap. It investigated middle and high school ELLs' and reclassified (RC) students' attitudes toward school, their aspirations for the future, and the language program in which they are or were recently enrolled within the state of Arizona. Using Erickson's analytic induction method and employing descriptive statistics, t tests, and hierarchical multiple regression, 2,264 students were polled from urban school districts in Arizona. The 85-question survey was comprised of demographic questions and attitude items as measured on a 5-point Likert scale. Results indicate some students are not satisfied with the four-hour block and that many students are aware of the negative implications involvement in the four-hour block can incur. Findings also show that language minority students are not receiving an equal education in regards to their curriculum. More importantly, considering policies and practices of schools as a factor, especially those which are restrictive language policies, is important in better understanding ELL and RC students' attachment to school and the potential impact of these policies on the likelihood of language minority students dropping out of school in the future. Policy implications are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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English language learners in Arizona public schools: challenges and opportunities for achieving quality language development

Description

Arizona's English Language Development Model (ELD Model) is intended to increase and accelerate the learning of English by English Language Learners (ELLs), so that the students can then be ready,

Arizona's English Language Development Model (ELD Model) is intended to increase and accelerate the learning of English by English Language Learners (ELLs), so that the students can then be ready, when they know the English language, to learn the other academic subjects together with their English speaking peers. This model is part of a response to comply with the Flores Consent Order to improve services for ELLs in Arizona public schools. Whether or not it actually has improved instruction for ELLs has been the subject of much debate and, in 2012, after four years of the requirement to use Arizona's ELD Model, the ELL students who were identified as reclassified for the six districts in the study did not pass the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) test. The model's requirement to separate students who are not proficient from students who are proficient, the assessment used for identification of ELLs, and the Structured English Immersion four hours of English only instruction are at the nexus of the controversy, as the courts accepted the separate four hour SEI portion of the model for instruction as sufficient to meet the needs of ELLs in Arizona (Garcia, 2011, Martinez, 2012, Lawton, 2012, Lillie, 2012). This study examines student achievement in Reading and Math as measured by AIMS standards-based tests in six urban K-8 public school districts between 2007-2012. This period was selected to cover two years before and four years after the ELD model was required. Although the numbers of ELLs have decreased for the State and for the six urban elementary districts since the advent of the Arizona ELD Model, the reclassified ELL subgroup in the studied districts did not pass the AIMS for all the years in the study. Based on those results, this study concludes with the following recommendations. First, to study the coming changes in the language assessments and their impact on ELLs' student achievement in broad and comprehensive ways; second, to implement a model change allowing school districts to support their ELLs in their first language; and, finally, to establish programs that will allow ELLs full access to study with their English speaking peers.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012