Title

SupportingTeachers of ELL Students

First Presenter's Institution

Georgia Southern University

Second Presenter's Institution

N/A

Third Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fourth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Fifth Presenter's Institution

N/A

Location

Harborside East Center

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

This presentation is relevant to Strand 1 Academic Achievement and Strand 2 Social Emotional Skills and directly aligns with teacher development in understanding strategies when working with ELL students.

Brief Program Description

With the number of English Learners in Georgia on the rise, local schools are in a predicament, particularly in elementary schools where students are just being exposed to a second language and in rural areas, where sometimes the level of education and the amount of resources can be limited. Overall, there is a trend of negative perceptions towards ELL students that is the result of a lack or preparation, misconceptions, and general frustration with the demands placed upon teachers. These negative perceptions produce in teachers a reluctance to teach a specific group of students. While they may care about the students, oftentimes, they take on the “not in my classroom” approach that was described by Walker, Shafer, and Liams (2004).

The purpose of this study was to explore strategies used by teachers when working with ELL students in one rural, southeastern Georgia elementary school. I reviewed district policy, school administration supports, individual teacher practices, and what does this looks like in the life of a student who is learning to speak, read, and write in English in within this environment. This case study is essential because there is an abundance of research regarding ELL students in urban schools and communities, but there is very little information regarding the experience of ELL students and their teachers for rural schools in Southeast Georgia.

Summary

According to an overview of research regarding ELL programs written by Sarah Sparks in 2016, the most common types of programs are Pullout/Push-In, Bilingual Instruction, and Sheltered English Instruction. Pullout programs are those in which ELL students are removed from their mainstream, English instruction classrooms for a designated period of time each day to receive separate instructional support through an ELL specialist. Similarly, in a Push-In program, the ELL specialist comes into the classroom to provide students with additional support. In Bilingual Instructional programs, students receive ongoing instruction in their languages and academic subjects in both their native language and English with the goal of having all students become bilingual by the end of the program. While data exist on the strategies teachers use with ELL students very little is discussed in teacher preparation courses. The goal of this study is to explore the approach used in one rural elementary school to better prepare the researcher in understanding the large and small issues when working with this underserved population.

Evidence

Unfortunately, there are educators that are reluctant to the idea of having English Language Learners in their classroom. In a 2004 study conducted by Walker, Shafer, and Liams in a Great Plains State, 70% of K-12 teachers from 28 surveyed schools reported that they were not actively interested in having ELL students in their classroom. 14% of the sample directly objected. 20% of those same teachers were unwilling to adapt their classroom instruction to meet the needs of ELL students. Considering the fact that 45% of United States teachers have at least one ELL student in their classroom (McCloskey, 2002), these statistics are unsettling.

McCloskey, M (2002). President’s message: No child left behind. TESOL Matters, 12, 4. Retrieved from http://www.tesol.org/pubs/articles/2002/tm12-4-04.html

Sparks, S. (2016) Teaching English-language learners: What does the research tell us? Education Week. 36 (36) Pages 14-15.

Walker, A. Shafer, J. & Liam, M. (2004) “Not in my classroom’: Teacher attitudes towards English language learning in the mainstream classroom. National Association for Bilingual Education Journal of Research and Practice, 2 (1) 130-160.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Abigail Slattery is a junior and honor student attending Georgia Southern University. In May 2019 Abigail will be complete her degree in early childhood education.

Keyword Descriptors

English Language Learners, teacher attitudes, instructional support

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2018 5:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 4:00 PM Mar 6th, 5:30 PM

SupportingTeachers of ELL Students

Harborside East Center

With the number of English Learners in Georgia on the rise, local schools are in a predicament, particularly in elementary schools where students are just being exposed to a second language and in rural areas, where sometimes the level of education and the amount of resources can be limited. Overall, there is a trend of negative perceptions towards ELL students that is the result of a lack or preparation, misconceptions, and general frustration with the demands placed upon teachers. These negative perceptions produce in teachers a reluctance to teach a specific group of students. While they may care about the students, oftentimes, they take on the “not in my classroom” approach that was described by Walker, Shafer, and Liams (2004).

The purpose of this study was to explore strategies used by teachers when working with ELL students in one rural, southeastern Georgia elementary school. I reviewed district policy, school administration supports, individual teacher practices, and what does this looks like in the life of a student who is learning to speak, read, and write in English in within this environment. This case study is essential because there is an abundance of research regarding ELL students in urban schools and communities, but there is very little information regarding the experience of ELL students and their teachers for rural schools in Southeast Georgia.