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Improving Teaching and Learning for English Language Learners

While there has been tremendous growth in the numbers of Hispanics and
English language learners (ELLs) in our public schools, there has been a lack of
educational opportunities offered to these students resulting in low educational
achievement and attainment. Additionally, increases in the linguistic and cultural
diversity of the student population have not been accompanied by diversification of the
corps of teachers and many teachers who serve ELLs are not certified or prepared
adequately to meet the linguistic and academic needs of second language learners. This
context, in which the potential of our nation's ELLs is not being met by our education
system, calls for research focusing on the education of ELLs. The three studies that
constitute this dissertation address two critical areas, reading and mathematics, by
documenting the cognitive reading strategies that middle school Hispanic ELLs utilize
and evaluating professional development activities for teachers of ELLs.
The mixed methods studies used student self-report data from the Reading
Strategies Questionnaire (RSQ) as well as observational and survey data from a professional development program. Means and standard deviations were reported from
the RSQ. Data from the observations of the professional development program were
coded to determine the topics that were addressed in the program. Results from the RSQ
indicate that Hispanic ELLs, in general, do not consistently adopt a strategic approach to
reading in English. Additionally, while professional development is one avenue to
improve the instruction that Hispanic ELLs receive, results from the observations
indicate that teachers receive professional development of limited quality and that little
of the professional development is connected to instruction for ELLs. Findings from this
series of studies can be utilized to inform reading instruction for ELLs and to enhance
professional development opportunities for teachers of ELLs.
Date2009 May 1900
CreatorsKandel, Brooke E.
ContributorsPadron, Yolanda
Source SetsTexas A and M University
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeBook, Thesis, Electronic Dissertation, text

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