Teachers' Perceptions of ELL Education: Potential Solutions to Overcome the Greatest Challenges

By Batt, Ellen G. | Multicultural Education, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Teachers' Perceptions of ELL Education: Potential Solutions to Overcome the Greatest Challenges


Batt, Ellen G., Multicultural Education


Since implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandates, much attention has been focused on the education of the rapidly growing English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools. Disaggregated accountability reports for subgroups are required as a result of NCLB. Schools must report yearly progress in ELL students' growth in English proficiency, reading, and math tests, and schools must assure that all students are taught by highly qualified teachers. Rural school districts are especially challenged to provide inservice teachers with face to face professional development to meet the needs of increasing numbers of English learners (Sehlaoui, Seguin, & Kreicker, 2005).

Background

Demographics

During the academic year 2003-2004, 5.5 million students in the U. S. were limited English proficient (LEP), and 80 percent of these LEP students spoke Spanish as their first language (U.S. Department of Education, 2004). Hispanics continue to be the largest and fastest-growing minority group in the U.S. (Bernstein, 2006). The critical concern for effective linguistic minority education in the rural state of Idaho corresponds closely to the nationwide challenge.

Idaho's growth in limited English proficient students from the 1990 to 2000 census was greater than 200 percent (Office of English Language Acquisition, Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for LEP Students, 2004). Over 80 percent of Idaho's English learners come from Spanish-speaking backgrounds (Idaho State Board of Education, 2005), and the percentage of youth nineteen and younger in the Hispanic population is greater than the percentage of the same age group in the non-Hispanic population. Furthermore, the infant mortality rate of Hispanics in Idaho is slightly lower than the rate for non-Hispanics (Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, 2004).

ELL Academic Achievement

Rapid growth in the ELL and Hispanic student populations demands attention among educators and teacher education programs, as the academic success rate of Hispanic students nationwide and in Idaho has consistently lagged well behind the rest of the student population (Bergman, 2005). From fall 1993 through spring 2004, Idaho's Hispanic cohort dropout rate estimates ranged between 42.61 percent and 23.19 percent. The actual number of dropouts in grades nine through twelve reported by school districts to the state department of education during this time period totaled 7,358 students (Idaho State Department of Education, 2004).

Recent school reports in the state clearly indicate that a gap exists between academic achievement rates of Idaho's Latino students and majority students. Data for the Idaho Standards Achievement Tests (ISAT) compiled by the state department of education following the 2004-2005 academic year reveal discrepancies in achievement for Idaho's largest LEP ethnic subgroup in all three areas tested by the ISAT: reading, language usage, and mathematics (Idaho State Department of Education, 2005).

Teacher Supply and Qualifications

As in the nation as a whole, Idaho educators with the requisite knowledge and skills to work effectively with linguistic minority students have been in short supply. During the 2002-03 school year 5.64 percent of the state's ESL and bilingual teachers were not fully certified, which represented a higher percentage of non-certificated teachers than all other teaching areas (Stefanic, 2002). Reports indicate that ESL positions have consistently been among the most difficult for schools to fill between the 2002-03 and 2005-06 academic years (Howard, Stefanic, & Norton, 2006). Seventy-two percent of the school districts in the state with vacancies in ESL in 2005-06 reported the positions were hard to fill or very hard to fill (Balcom, 2006).

The majority of ELL teachers of academic content have been education assistants rather than certified teachers, and the state's consulting evaluator who issued the report in 2002 for ELL education in Idaho surmised that most of the ELL certified content teachers had received ESL strategies through workshops or inservice rather than through ongoing, sustained professional development or coursework in their pre-service certification programs (Hargett, 2002). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Teachers' Perceptions of ELL Education: Potential Solutions to Overcome the Greatest Challenges
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.