Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

More than just good teaching: Teachers engaging culturally and linguistically diverse learners with content and language in mainstream classrooms
by Kaje, Ellen Strickland, Ph.D., University of Washington, 2009, 175; 3377326
Abstract (Summary)

This study looks at exemplary practices and participation of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners in mainstream classrooms. Using case study and discourse analysis methods, this dissertation examines two upper elementary classrooms to explore how teachers facilitate CLD student participation in mainstream classrooms and the factors that may enable teachers to facilitate this participation. The author employs a sociocultural framework viewing language as a resource for participation within the classroom Discourse. This study looks beyond an emphasis on ‘just good teaching’ and synthesizes the bodies of research into academic language development, best instructional practice, and equitable access.

This dissertation analyzes discourse episodes in each of the two classrooms to look at how teachers employ exemplary practices in a third- and a fourth-grade classroom to facilitate CLD learner participation using nontraditional participation structures. This study finds that both teachers employ instructional routines to make linguistic expectations in math instruction clear to students and use strategies to develop students' academic vocabulary. Both teachers also hold CLD students to high instructional standards while differentiating instruction, and engage students with new learning through the use of real-world scenarios.

This study also explores the factors that enable teachers to employ these practices, including factors within the institutional setting and teacher background. This study finds that teacher networks and school structures within the school context may enable teachers to facilitate CLD student participation. In addition, the development of a knowledge base around ESL methodology and the cultural and linguistic resources students bring may also enable mainstream teachers to facilitate this participation.

Further research is indicated that looks into how school settings and other factors may enable teachers to facilitate CLD student participation, including school context and teacher knowledge base. In the area of teacher preparation, this study suggests approaching teachers as learners through a sociocultural perspective, just as we would view students, when considering how to support teachers in facilitating the participation of culturally and linguistically diverse learners in mainstream classrooms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Varghese, Manka M.
Commitee:
School: University of Washington
School Location: United States -- Washington
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Bilingual education, Multilingual education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Diversity, Effective teaching, Engagement, Mainstreaming
Publication Number: 3377326
ISBN: 978-1-109-39568-6
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