Term of Award

Fall 2007

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Delores Liston

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

Fayth Parks

Committee Member 3

David Alley

Abstract

In this theoretical dissertation my aim is to research the academic literature in the field of second language acquisition (SLA), compare it to the life experiences of past and/or present students, colleagues, children and myself to reflect and summarize my learning in the form of a conceptual framework that I have named, Framework for Understanding the Teaching and Learning of English Language Learners. The ever increasing number of diverse students in US schools along with the demand for standardized learning and assessments has created a range of challenges for educators that I seek to attend to with the writing of this dissertation. I use the terms second language learners (L2), English Language Learners (ELLs), diverse learners and linguistically and culturally diverse students interchangeably to conform to the terms appearing in the larger academic field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and to vary the academic discourse. These labels refer to students who know a language other than English at varied levels of proficiency; have prior knowledge dissimilar to that of the mainstream population and share differing cultural worldviews. My inquiry revolves around the question: How does Framework for Understanding the Teaching and Learning of English Language Learners, reflect current findings in SLA research to assist educators in making effectual instructional decisions when planning and delivering teaching for ELLs? I selected critical pedagogy for my 2 theoretical framework and critical analytical inquiry for my methodology. The literature review helps me to formulate my philosophical stance and critical claims within the field of Curriculum Studies, synthesize my critical reading, point at the perceived gap and justify my contributions to the academic field. The results and conclusions surge from the synthesis of documents that are reflected and confirmed in the auto/biographical anecdotes, the school portraiture and the researchers participation in the educational setting for over thirty years.

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