Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teachers' Experiences Teaching Adolescent English Learners with Limited or Interrupted Formal Schooling
by Fulghum Ingram, Carla Annette, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2017, 140; 10619701
Abstract (Summary)

An estimated 44% of secondary school English Learners (ELs) are immigrants. Some arrive in the United States with a rigorous academic education and often excel beyond most native-born students while others arrive without any formal education or having missed years of schooling. This second subpopulation of ELs is called students with interrupted or limited formal education or SLIFE. These learners have to work harder than their native English-speaking peers and even harder than their more literate EL peers to meet the same accountability goals because these students need learn a new language, develop literacy skills in the new language, and also master content area standards simultaneously. The problem that was addressed was that teachers’ low expectations and subsequent differential treatment of SLIFE may contribute to the lower graduation rates and achievement gap and between SLIFE, other ELs, and mainstream English-speaking students. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine high school content teachers’ perceptions of and expectations for their students who are classified as SLIFE. Participants are high school teachers in one school district in the Southeastern United States. Data were gathered through face-to-face interviews. The findings showed the difficulties faced by teachers trying to support SLIFE students in mainstream content area courses, but also revealed the willingness these teachers demonstrate to do whatever it takes to help all of their students. The data expressed a deep desire these teachers feel to be better equipped. Research is needed to determine what supports, research, and training experiences and efficacy are needed for planning and delivering instruction to their SLIFE students with the goal of both academic success and a positive acculturation experience. Further research is also needed to determine what, if any, institutional barriers exist and what can be done to remove them so that the teachers’ efforts will be facilitated, not hindered.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Scheg, Abigail G., Shaw, Melanie
School: Northcentral University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 79/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Teacher education
Keywords: Rural school, Socio-cultural theory, Students with interrupted formal education, Students with limited or interrupted formal education, Vygotsky
Publication Number: 10619701
ISBN: 978-0-355-31315-4
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