Matching Items (18)

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Guiding preservice teachers to critically reflect: towards a renewed sense about English learners

Description

The purpose of this practitioner inquiry was to explore the use of Guided Critical Reflection (GCR) in preparing preservice teachers for English learners (ELs). As a teacher researcher, I documented, analyzed, and discussed the ways in which students in my

The purpose of this practitioner inquiry was to explore the use of Guided Critical Reflection (GCR) in preparing preservice teachers for English learners (ELs). As a teacher researcher, I documented, analyzed, and discussed the ways in which students in my course used the process of GCR to transform their passively held understandings about ELs. Specifically, the research questions were: 1) What are preservice teachers' common sense about teaching and learning related to ELs? 2) How does GCR transform preservice teachers' common sense about ELs? 3) What is my role as an educator in creating opportunities for GCR? I utilized methods for data collection that fit my teaching practices. Data sources included three types of observations (self-reflective field notes, audio recordings of each class, and notes documented by an outside observer), student-work artifacts, and my audio reflection journal. I analyzed data inductively and deductively using a modified analytic induction approach. Building on previous research concerning the use of reflection in teacher preparation, I define GCR as the process in which I guided preservice teachers to acknowledge and examine their common sense about ELs, reframe what they know in light of course learning, and transform their understandings. Five major findings emerged from this study. First, preservice teachers entered the course with common sense notions about ELs rooted in their educational and life experiences. Students felt comfortable sharing what they knew about ELs, but needed to be scaffolded to examine how their life experiences shaped their common sense. Within the course, preservice teachers framed and reframed their common sense in different ways. Through the process of GCR, students evidenced a renewed sense about ELs. Finally, my role as a teacher involved establishing a comfortable learning environment, valuing my students' common sense as the catalyst for course learning, and guiding students through their reflective work. Ultimately, I was able to create opportunities for GCR because I too was reflecting on my practices, just as I was asking my students to reflect on their common sense about ELs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Miss [untitled]: learning to teach science to English language learners while navigating affordances and constraints : a longitudinal multiple case study

Description

ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding them merit a thorough examination. This study examines the longitudinal

ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding them merit a thorough examination. This study examines the longitudinal changes in Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and practices of six early career science teachers who taught in urban schools. The teachers participated in the Alternative Support for Induction Science Teachers (ASIST) program during their initial two years of teaching. Our research team followed the participants over a five-year period. This study focuses on data from Years 1, 3, and 5. The data collected included classroom observations and interviews. In addition, classroom artifacts were collected periodically for the purpose of triangulation. The analysis of the data revealed that with the support of the ASIST program, the teachers implemented inquiry lessons and utilized instructional materials that promoted academic language skills and science competencies among their ELL students. Conversely, standardized testing, teaching assignment, and school culture played a role in constraining the implementation of inquiry-based practices. The results of this study call for collaborative efforts among university science educators and school administrators to provide professional development opportunities and support for the implementation of inquiry and language practices among early career science teachers of ELL students.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Professional development of secondary teachers of English learners: issues in linguistic and cultural sensitivity

Description

This study is of professional development of secondary teachers seeking an English as Second Language (ESL) endorsement. Participants are secondary teachers of a major urban metropolitan school district with over 70% student population that is identified as speakers of a

This study is of professional development of secondary teachers seeking an English as Second Language (ESL) endorsement. Participants are secondary teachers of a major urban metropolitan school district with over 70% student population that is identified as speakers of a language other than English (LOTE). The study analyzes teachers' understanding of knowledge, skills and dispositions associated with teaching English Learners (ELs) after these teachers have completed a long term, coherent professional development program designed for urban secondary teachers of one school district. In seeking a determination, the study utilizes two guiding research questions. The first research question addresses what mainstream teachers say about their knowledge, skills and dispositions relative to teaching ELs. The second focuses on a more generalized understanding of what mainstream teachers say is important to understand about EL students. In order to interpret findings, the study utilizes two theoretical frameworks, Knowledge-for-Practice (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1999) and Cultural Relevant Teaching (Villegas & Lucas, 2002b). The primary data instrument is an e-survey, which includes open-ended and Likert questions. Data analysis includes an SPSS analysis for descriptive statistics, measures of internal reliability and Spearman correlation analysis, as well as constant comparison method (Glasser &Straus;, 1967; Straus & Corbin, 1994) of data from responses to open-ended questions. The findings suggest that teacher participants understand that supporting EL students' first Language facilitates connections to prior learning in their first language to school content. Respondents identify that scaffolding, heterogeneous grouping, and allowing of first language use among students are ways that foster learning of English while learning content. In terms of language perspectives on the use of English-only or English plus ELs' first language in classroom teaching, some respondents support English-only instruction for learning English and content while others identify the importance of first language support while learning English and content. Supporting ELs' cultural background is deemed important by respondents as a way of promoting EL student academic success. Respondents also identify supporting ELs' academic success through EL advocacy among fellow teachers as means to educate and guide teachers who are unfamiliar with teaching ELs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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Literacy development among adolescent ELLs: the impact of English-only classrooms

Description

This qualitative study explores the literacy development of adolescent ELLs in three middle school, Structured English Immersion (SEI) classrooms that implemented the four-hour, English Language Development (ELD), curriculum mandated by Arizona. The context of the study is set in two

This qualitative study explores the literacy development of adolescent ELLs in three middle school, Structured English Immersion (SEI) classrooms that implemented the four-hour, English Language Development (ELD), curriculum mandated by Arizona. The context of the study is set in two elementary school districts. Participants, three middle school teachers, were observed during four hours of ELD instruction within their English-only classrooms to examine literacy practices. Data were recorded using field note observations, semi-structured interviews, and artifact collection. During the year-long study, three main questions guided the design and implementation of the study: a) what kinds of literacy practices can be documented in Arizona SEI classrooms and what do they look like; b) how do junior high teachers implement mandated language policies; and c)what perceptions do junior high teachers have toward the mandated SEI, four-hour block? A descriptive qualitative approach informed data collection and analysis; data were collected during 76 hours of observed instruction in the classroom, in-depth interviews, and collection of classroom artifacts to document the preparation provided by Arizona Department of Education (ADE) for ELD instruction. A framework of Erickson's (1986) analytic induction and content analysis served as an analytical tool to observe literacy practices and events in the classroom. Observations of instruction within the four-hour language models in the classroom offer unique insight to the literacy development of adolescent ELLs. Findings show how State language policy mandates and teachers' policy implementation have impacted learning experiences and language development of adolescent ELLs. Findings are discussed through narrative-based vignettes, which illustrate the experiences occurring within middle school classrooms with students learning English. Data reveal skill-based approaches to the literacy development of adolescent ELLs and a lack of student-centered learning in the classroom. Teachers supported ELLs with prescriptive lessons that focused on decontextualized vocabulary development. Language policy in practice reveals a detrimental experience to second language acquisition (SLA) for adolescent ELLs in the four-hour language block.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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Hispanic and white teachers teaching Hispanic youth: are we culturally responsive to our students?

Description

This study explores the implications of a cultural and language match/mismatch between teachers and their Hispanic students. The study is particularly relevant given the disproportionate percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in Arizona schools who speak Spanish compared to a majority

This study explores the implications of a cultural and language match/mismatch between teachers and their Hispanic students. The study is particularly relevant given the disproportionate percentage of Hispanic students enrolled in Arizona schools who speak Spanish compared to a majority of teachers who are white and speak English. The purpose of the study was to learn how the experiences of matched/mismatched teachers differed in their efforts to connect with Hispanic students and families. The framework for this study relies on culturally responsive practice which suggests that maintaining both cultural and academic excellence for our Hispanic students and families promotes positive learning outcomes in schools. The research is based on case studies of eight teachers at an elementary school with a predominately Hispanic student and parent population. The data included surveys, interviews and lesson observations to assess culturally responsive practices. The results of this study indicated that teachers who share common cultural and language characteristics exhibit significantly more behaviors associated with culturally responsive practice than their mismatched counterparts. Mismatched teachers, however, were able to draw on specific school wide and pedagogical resources associated with culturally responsive practice to help support their students' learning.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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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, when they know the English language, to learn the other

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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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 an analysis of student's attitudes towards their imposed curriculum. Few

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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The ability of oral fluency to predict reading comprehension among ELL children learning to read

Description

The current study analyzed existing data, collected under a previous U.S. Department of Education Reading First grant, to investigate the strength of the relationship between scores on the first- through third-grade Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills - Oral

The current study analyzed existing data, collected under a previous U.S. Department of Education Reading First grant, to investigate the strength of the relationship between scores on the first- through third-grade Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills - Oral Reading Fluency (DIBELS-ORF) test and scores on a reading comprehension test (TerraNova-Reading) administered at the conclusion of second- and third-grade. Participants were sixty-five English Language Learners (ELLs) learning to read in a school district adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border. DIBELS-ORF and TerraNova-Reading scores were provided by the school district, which administers the assessments in accordance with state and federal mandates to monitor early literacy skill development. Bivariate correlation results indicate moderate-to-strong positive correlations between DIBELS-ORF scores and TerraNova-Reading performance that strengthened between grades one and three. Results suggest that the concurrent relationship between oral reading fluency scores and performance on standardized and high-stakes measures of reading comprehension may be different among ELLs as compared to non-ELLs during first- and second-grade. However, by third-grade the correlations approximate those reported in previous non-ELL studies. This study also examined whether the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), a receptive vocabulary measure, could explain any additional variance on second- and third-grade TerraNova-Reading performance beyond that explained by the DIBELS-ORF. The PPVT was individually administered by researchers collecting data under a Reading First research grant prior to the current study. Receptive vocabulary was found to be a strong predictor of reading comprehension among ELLs, and largely overshadowed the predictive ability of the DIBELS-ORF during first-grade. Results suggest that receptive vocabulary scores, used in conjunction with the DIBELS-ORF, may be useful for identifying beginning ELL readers who are at risk for third-grade reading failure as early as first-grade.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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A choice against: an analysis of the de-selection of dual language programs in Arizona through a Latino critical race theory lens

Description

ABSTRACT A hallmark of Arizona schools is the choice of parents in program and school for their child under the Open Enrollment laws. Among the choices for parents at some schools is Dual Language education, a form of enrichment wherein

ABSTRACT A hallmark of Arizona schools is the choice of parents in program and school for their child under the Open Enrollment laws. Among the choices for parents at some schools is Dual Language education, a form of enrichment wherein students learn the content of the Arizona State Standards through the medium of their primary language and a second language. The schools of this study use English and Spanish as the two languages. After 13 years of existence, changes in enrollment patterns have been noticed. Some parents whose older children attended Dual Language classes have chosen to dis-enroll their families from the program, so that their younger children are in English Only classes. At the same time that these trends in enrollment began, so too did strict enactment, enforcement, and monitoring of Arizona's Structured English Immersion program, the Department of Education's response to the voter approved Proposition 203--English for the Children--in November 2000. This study asks the following research question of de-selecting parents involved with Dual Language programs in Phoenix, Arizona: What are the rationale that influence parents to de-select Dual Language instruction in Arizona public schools in 2010 after having selected Dual Language for their older child(ren)? The study uses a Latino Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) Conceptual Framework to analyze interviews of 10 parents and 2 administrators from Dual Language programs in Phoenix, Arizona. There are three general findings of the study: 1) Parents sought asymmetrical measures of program design if their children were struggling in one language more than another, and chose to de-select when these asymmetrical measures were not enacted, 2) the de-selection process was generally not the result of family decision making, but rather reactionary to a situation, and 3) legislative mandates resulted in de-selection of the program. The LatCrit perspective showed most strongly in the third of these, wherein the de-selection was not necessarily a result of parent de-selection of the program, but rather the state's de-selection of willing participants in a language learning option. The hopes of the study are to hear the voices of parents who have to negotiate language policies and make programmatic choice decisions for their children. I also hope to provide information that Dual Language schools can use to understand the motivations and perspectives of the parents that will enable them to strengthen their programs and advocate for equality in opportunity for enrichment language programs for all children at their schools.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Guiding educators to praxis: moving teachers beyond theory to practice

Description

The purpose of this study was to explore and report on the impact of coaching as an embedded part of professional development has on teacher learning and practice in the context of educating English Language Learners (ELLs). A close examination

The purpose of this study was to explore and report on the impact of coaching as an embedded part of professional development has on teacher learning and practice in the context of educating English Language Learners (ELLs). A close examination was made of what teachers, coaches and principals believe to be effective professional development and how the relationship between a coach and teacher affects understanding of and classroom practice with a specific population of students. The research questions were (a) How can coaching support implementation of professional development goals over traditional development activities as reported by the teacher, coach and administrator? (b) What is the relationship between the coach and teacher? (c) How does the coaching process relate to self- reported coach and teacher knowledge of instruction and practice in the ELL context? I used a qualitative approach to gather data through classroom observations and in-depth interviews. The 17 participants came from Title 1 elementary schools with high ELL populations located in the central and west valley of Phoenix, Arizona. I analyzed the data deductively then coded and categorized participant responses in relation to the literature on professional development and coaching. The findings indicated that those involved perceived embedded coaching as an effective component of professional development. What I have now termed based on my study as Professional Development Praxis (PPD). They agreed that with a structured system of coaching in place, both teachers and coaches increased their knowledge of how to best instruct ELLs as well as enhanced their ability to put research-based strategies into classroom practice. The recommendation of this study is that districts, schools and professional developers provide training and support for educators in a meaningful, effective and student centered way. Professional development were educators are provided knowledge about ELLs, opportunities for practice of what they are learning in and out of training sessions and on-going collaboration and support as they work with their students. It is the job of everyone involved in the system to better prepare educators to meet the critical needs of students who come to school with specific linguistic and academic needs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2012