Teacher Efficacy with ELLs

Teacher efficacy with ELLs
Byrnes, D. A., Kiger, G., & Lee Manning, M. (1997). Teachers' attitudes about
language diversity. Teaching and Teacher Education 13(6), 637-644.
This paper addresses regular-classroom teachers' attitudes toward language
diversity and linguistically diverse students. We examined salient contextual
variables hypothesized in the research literature to be associated with language
attitudes-experience with linguistically diverse students, region of the country,
formal training in second-language learning, graduate education, and grade level
taught. The respondents (N = 191) were teachers selected from three states:
Arizona, Utah, and Virginia. Our findings show that region of the country,
experience working with language-minority children, a completed graduate
degree, and formal training were related to positive language attitudes. These
findings are discussed in relation to strategies for attitude change in teachers.
Fearon, K. (2008). A team teaching approach to ESL: An evaluative case study.
Instruction and Curriculum (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from ProQuest.
(Accession No. 1456437)
This thesis investigates the effectiveness of a team teaching approach to
delivering ESL services in two elementary classrooms: one first grade and one
second grade. At C. Elementary School in suburban New Jersey, two ESL
teachers partner with first and second grade teachers to deliver language arts
instruction to their English language learners (ELLs) and native English speakers.
The ESL teachers spend a minimum of three hours per day working
collaboratively with the grade level teachers to deliver language and content
support-as opposed to the traditional practice of pulling students out of the
classroom for 45 minutes of isolated ESL instruction. Findings of the case study
support a collaborative approach to delivering ESL services, but reveal
advantages to the pull-out model as well. Working collaboratively with the grade
level teacher enables the ESL teacher to better understand the curriculum and
provide appropriate targeted support for ELLs. Ideally, collaborative teaching
enhances the effectiveness of English language learning by providing teachers
with the flexibility to support ELLs both in the mainstream classroom and in
small group pull-out sessions that address the specific language needs of ELLs.
Griffin, N. E. (2008). Elementary teachers' perceptions and attitudes toward the
inclusion of English language learners in mainstream classrooms (Doctoral
dissertation). Retrieved from Proquest. (Accession No. 3307299)
The primary purpose of this study was to examine elementary teachers'
perceptions and attitudes toward the "inclusion" of ELLs in mainstreamed
classrooms. Other purposes of the study examined (1) the teachers' perceptions
and attitudes toward ELL language acquisition, (2) class modifications, (3) the
ELL time constraints, (4) professional training and support, and (5) the overall
Teacher efficacy with ELLs
educational environment resulting from ELL inclusion. This study utilized an
"Integrative Research Design." Both quantitative and qualitative inquiries were
employed. The quantitative aspect was descriptive. The survey instrument in this
study was developed by Dr. Jenelle Reeves from the University of Nebraska.
Open-ended questions were used to serve two purposes in this research: (1) to
allow participants to expand or clarify their responses in the survey and (2) to
identify any attitudes and perceptions the survey did not address (Reeves, 2002).
The population for this research consisted of 14 elementary schools within the
Rutherford County School district in Middle Tennessee. There were 437
participants (elementary classroom teachers) in the research study. The researcher
used the SAS Statistical software (SAS(TM), SAS Institute, Inc., Cary, NC, USA)
for all data analysis. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the survey
responses for the normality of distributions. If the data was normally distributed,
parametric statistics were used to test the null hypotheses. For null hypotheses 1-6,
t tests were used to reveal whether or not mainstreamed teachers had positive
attitudes toward ELL students. Additionally, the General Linear Model procedure
was used to perform the MANOVA test. The MANOVA test is the Multivariate
Analysis of Variance, and it allowed comparison of multiple dependent variables
(Mallery, 2006). Elementary mainstreamed teachers had positive attitudes toward
class modifications, time constraints, educational environment, general attitudes,
and training and support but had negative attitudes about having adequate ELL
training. Also, elementary mainstreamed teachers had negative attitudes toward
second language acquisition. Finally, the research showed that new teachers were
more positive about all of the variables than experienced teachers, and females
were more positive than males.
Hardin, B. J., Roach-Scott, M., & Peisner-Feinberg, E. S. (2007). Special education
referral, evaluation, and placement practices for preschool English language
learners. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 22(1), 39-54.
The number of English language learners (ELLs) in early childhood regular and
special education services has increased dramatically in the past decade. A survey
was conducted with 141 early childhood administrators and teachers to examine
their beliefs and practices concerning the special education referral, evaluation,
and placement process for preschool ELLs and their families. Survey questions
were designed to gather information about: (1) how cultural and language
differences were addressed;(2) what strategies were used to ensure parent
participation of ELL children; and (3) what training was available and being used
by early childhood professionals. Data were coded and percentages of similar
responses calculated to understand participants' beliefs, attitudes, and practices.
Results indicate that inconsistencies in methods are used to determine home
language and English proficiency, a lack of clarity regarding the purpose of
instruments used for screening and evaluating ELL children, a need for reliable
and valid screening and assessment tools in a variety of languages, a need for
interpreters who are trained in early childhood terms and the special education
referral, evaluation, and placement process, and a need for more teacher training
Teacher efficacy with ELLs
on meeting the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families. (Contains 9
tables.) (Author)
Hart, J. E., & Lee, O. (2003). Teacher professional development to improve the
science and literacy achievement of English language learners. Bilingual
Research Journal , 27(3), 475-501.
This paper describes the results of a teacher professional development
intervention aimed at enabling teachers to promote science and literacy
achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse elementary students. This
paper has two objectives: (a) to examine teachers' initial beliefs and practices
about teaching English language and literacy in science and (b) to examine the
impact of the intervention on teachers' beliefs and practices. The research
involved 53 third- and fourth-grade teachers at six elementary schools in a large
school district with a highly diverse student population. The results of these
first-year professional development efforts, which form part of a 3-year
longitudinal design, indicate that at the end of the year, teachers expressed more
elaborate and coherent conceptions of literacy in science instruction. In addition,
they provided more effective linguistic scaffolding in an effort to enhance
students' understanding of science concepts. The results also suggest that teachers
require continuing support in the form of professional development activities in
order to implement and maintain reform-oriented practices that promote the
science and literacy achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse students.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Lascko-Keer, I., & Berliner, D. C. (2002). The effectiveness of “Teach for America” and
other under-certified teachers on student academic achievement: A case of harmful
public policy. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 10(37), 55.
The academic achievements of students taught by under-certified primary school
teachers were compared to the academic achievements of students taught by
regularly certified primary school teachers. This sample of under-certified
teachers included three types of under-qualified personnel: emergency, temporary
and provisionally certified teachers. One subset of these under-certified teachers
was from the national program "Teach For America (TFA)." Recent college
graduates are placed by TFA where other under-qualified under-certified teachers
are often called upon to work, namely, low-income urban and rural school
districts. Certified teachers in this study were from accredited universities and all
met state requirements for receiving the regular initial certificate to teach.
Recently hired under-certified and certified teachers (N=293) from five
low-income school districts were matched on a number of variables, resulting in
109 pairs of teachers whose students all took the mandated state achievement test.
Results indicate 1) that students of TFA teachers did not perform significantly
different from students of other under-certified teachers, and 2) that students of
Teacher efficacy with ELLs
certified teachers out-performed students of teachers who were under-certified.
This was true on all three subtests of the SAT 9—reading, mathematics and
language arts. Effect sizes favoring the students of certified teachers were
substantial. In reading, mathematics, and language, the students of certified
teachers outperformed students of under-certified teachers, including the students
of the TFA teachers, by about 2 months on a grade equivalent scale. Students of
under-certified teachers make about 20% less academic growth per year than do
students of teachers with regular certification. Traditional programs of teacher
preparation apparently result in positive effects on the academic achievement of
low-income primary school children. Present policies allowing under-certified
teachers, including those from the TFA program, to work with our most difficult
to teach children appear harmful. Such policies increase differences in
achievement between the performance of poor children, often immigrant and
minority children, and those children who are more advantaged.
Lee, O., & Luykx, A. (2005). Dilemmas in scaling up innovations in elementary
science instruction with nonmainstream students. American Educational
Research Journal, 42(3), 411-438.
In the climate of standards-based instruction and accountability, scaling up
educational innovations is necessary to bring about system-wide improvements.
As a result of fundamental tensions involving effective educational policies and
practices for diverse student groups, scaling up is especially challenging in
multilingual, multicultural, and inner-city settings. In this article, grounded in the
instructional congruence framework, the authors highlight the challenges facing
schools and teachers in articulating science disciplines with nonmainstream
students' linguistic and cultural experiences while also promoting English
language and literacy. Rigorous attention to such challenges is needed to make
scaling up of educational interventions more effective and to answer the question
of what constitutes "best policies and practices" for diverse student groups.
Lee, S., Butler, M. B., & Tippins, D. J. (2007). A case study of an early childhood
teacher's perspective on working with English language learners.
Multicultural Education, 15(1), 43-49.
The student population in United States early childhood education programs is
becoming more diverse every year. As schools and communities become more
diverse, it becomes increasingly important for teachers to be well prepared for
teaching and learning in cross-racial, cross-ethnic, and cross-cultural situations.
Based on the premise that teachers hold their own beliefs, values, knowledge,
assumptions, and attitudes about diversity from their own life experiences, this
study is an effort to understand an experienced teacher's--Tiffany's--practical
knowledge about cultural and linguistic diversity. As a collaborative work with
"Tiffany," this study tries to connect to her personal and professional lives,
classrooms, and teacher education programs. In particular, this study examines
ways to work effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse children. The
research questions are posed in light of this purpose: (1) What practices and
Teacher efficacy with ELLs
discourses does an experienced teacher enact regarding English as a second
language (ESL) education?; and (2) What suggestions and strategies does an
experienced teacher have to support English language learners (ELLs)?
O'Neal, D. D., Ringler, M., & Rodriguez, D. (2008). Teachers' perceptions of their
preparation for teaching linguistically and culturally diverse learners in
rural eastern North Carolina. Rural Educator, 30(1), 5-13.
The number of English language learners (ELL) students in the US is increasing
dramatically. The growth is even more evident in rural areas of the United States
such as North Carolina where teachers are facing classrooms with a majority of
second language learners. The authors conducted a study interviewing 24 teachers
at a rural elementary school in eastern North Carolina. Teachers were interviewed
regarding their perceptions of their preparedness to teach English language
learners in the mainstream classrooms. Findings revealed that teacher training
programs have not prepared these individuals for the student population they face
today regardless of the year in which they received their teaching licenses. All
teachers showed a strong desire to learn more at this time in their careers, but
emphasized their lack of prior training. The study found that even though teachers
lacked confidence, they were effectively educating this growing population. The
authors discuss the responsibility of Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to
provide formal education in teaching students from diverse language
Terrill, M., & Mark, D. L. H. (2000). Preservice teachers' expectations for schools
with children of color and second-language learners. Journal of Teacher
Education, 51(2), 149-55.
Investigated preservice teachers' expectations for racially and linguistically
diverse students in different school settings. Most respondents were white, with
low comfort and safety levels for schools and communities with children of color.
Most wanted to teach in white, suburban schools; had little experience teaching
minority children; and held significantly different expectations for diverse
students in different school settings.