Publication Date

7-22-2007

Abstract

Teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) in a rural, non-diverse school district in the Midwest, surveys mainstream school teachers about their feelings on working with students from various cultural backgrounds. The paper explores teacher’s thoughts and ideas about the growing population of immigrants in the school district and how culture affects the classroom. Through a survey style questionnaire, focus group, and administrator interviews, the teacher gains insight to use for further implementation of the needs of the ESL program. The findings conclude that the teacher’s and school administration’s perspectives are quite different, and that the method of services offered to ESL students could be affecting assimilation rates of students. There are issues with the way the curriculum is presented, how it is being taught to the English language learners, and the way that ESL and Special Education students present themselves in the classroom. The research question, “What are classroom teachers’ views about ESL students in the mainstream classroom, and what are the implications of those views for classroom planning?” raises many more questions about the needs of an ESL program in a large public school district. Teachers from several schools in the district were surveyed and a focus group was formed to expand on the survey questions. One-on-one interviews were completed with two administrators from the school district. The research will be used as a needs analysis for the future of the program. It will also be used to help meet the needs of this diverse population of students in the school district.

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education

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