With the significant increase in the number of immigrants entering the United States, schools and adult programs must prepare teachers to teach English Language Learners. The problem is that educators are unsure of what is the most effective method to teach the increasing number of ELLs who are in the silent/pre-production and production stages of learning the new language, and these learners are not engaging in appropriate cooperative learning strategies. Teachers are overwhelmed since many are not equipped to teach ELLs. This impact has left a greater need for educators to identify strategies to assist learners in acquiring the English language to gain employment and enter higher education. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to discern the effectiveness of cooperative learning strategies, a theory supported by Johnson and Johnson cognitive developmental and social interdependence perspective. Participants for this study were ELLs who were at least 18 years old and did not speak English. Participants had to be enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) Adult Education program. Data were collected by observing students interacting in groups and with their peers in a classroom. ESL teachers were also part of the data collection process through interviews, using an open-ended, semi-structured process. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis in (a) Strategies, (b) Evaluating Success, and (c) Teaching. Findings suggested that cooperative-learning strategies not only increased students’ acquisition, it also improved social interactions; as such, teachers should be encouraged to use the approach. The study concluded with potential implications that ELLs were at different levels; secondly, some ELLs might become dependent on others to speak for them, and that teachers in the setting did not evaluate their own students. Future studies should observe ELLs for longer periods to identify if their goals were realized, in addition, ELL’s pre-test scores should be compared with their post-test scores to ascertain their growth in language acquisition
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||English as a Second Language|
|Keywords:||Silent language learners|
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