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The purpose of this chapter is to identify specific instructional strategies to help English language learners develop literacy skills. Potential difficulties in areas of…
The purpose of this chapter is to identify specific instructional strategies to help English language learners develop literacy skills. Potential difficulties in areas of decoding, vocabulary, and fluency are explored along with suggestions to implement effective instruction. The intention of this chapter is not to be a research document, but a pragmatic guide for educators of English language learners. Through reflective practice and backed by research, I walk readers through classroom and professional development scenarios and also present ways to effectively support the emerging literacy skills of English language learners. Readers will be presented with research-based instructional methods shown to enhance crucial early literacy skills for English language learners along with practical suggestions for teachers to put research into practice in the classroom. Scenarios and research-based practices illuminate how to effectively work with English language learners. Research-based evidence is presented, showing that English language learners go through the same developmental milestones as native English-speaking students, but may require some additional modifications along with explicit instruction. The chapter describes how teachers can build foundational reading skills for English language learners, something that is crucial for later academic success.
Acquiring a foreign language may be a lifelong endeavor, and this requires one to approach it from a lifelong learning perspective. However, learners may not always be…
Acquiring a foreign language may be a lifelong endeavor, and this requires one to approach it from a lifelong learning perspective. However, learners may not always be ready for such an approach. It is important to know where learners stand in their orientations toward learning and consider this when planning educational activities. Therefore, it is necessary to determine language learners’ readiness for lifelong learning (LLL) in order to support their language development. This paper reports the findings of a study conducted to identify the LLL propensities of some Turkish and Emirati university students learning English as a foreign language in their local contexts. The study included 61 Emirati and 47 Turkish students, with a mean age of 19. Data were collected using a research tool with three sections: Demographics, the Lifelong Learning Tendency Scale (LLLTS – developed by Coskun & Demirel (2012)), and a survey with six open-ended questions. Student’s t-test, the Kruskal-Wallis test and the Mann-Whitney U-test were used to compare the quantitative data in terms of the participants’ nationalities, gender and length of study. The results showed that both Turkish and Emirati students had a moderate level of propensity for LLL. However, the Turkish students’ overall LLLTS scores as well as certain sub-skills were found to be higher than those of the Emirati students. Gender was not found to make a significant difference in the students’ LLL orientations, while motivation was found to be lower at a statistically significant level for those learning English for more than a year. Suggestions are offered for the development of language learners’ LLL skills.
An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a…
An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Given that English has become the world’s predominant lingua franca for academia, business, and politics, the purpose of this paper, therefore, is to fill this gap in the literature.
This is a qualitative case study that aims to explore learner autonomy in vocabulary development.
The results showed that teachers are cognizant of the concept of learner autonomy. However, they are not all certain of the benefits of autonomous vocabulary learning. This study reveals how six adult learners’ levels of autonomy are highly influenced by their teachers’ practices. This study draws out suggestions for English language teachers who promote learner autonomy theory and practice. It also offers specific guidance, models, and adapted learning approaches of how to promote autonomy inside the classroom.
This study encountered several limitations. The first is time: the study took place over the course of two months in the Summer of 2016, when students were fully encumbered with schoolwork and social duties. The recruitment of participants during that time was a challenge. Some of the students who agreed to participate in the study were not fully engaged in the research. Additionally, the study faced difficulties with faculty commitment – one of the professors delayed the interview session multiple times and perceived some of the interview questions negatively. In addition, Dickinson’s (1993) characteristics of learner autonomy are largely related to the opportunities that are presented to the students by the teacher. It appears that Dickinson’s scale was meant to be used to identify students’ level of autonomy, particularly inside the classroom. However, because of some of the examples of activities pertaining to how they learned vocabulary outside the classroom, they were not related to classroom teaching. Also, the number of the participants is limited in this study.
A future study could be undertaken to measure and quantitatively analyze learners’ vocabulary development on a larger scale. Research could also be conducted using a pretest, an intervention, and a posttest to measure the effectiveness of learning vocabulary autonomously. In addition, other pedagogical approaches could be utilized to measure EFL students’ intrinsic motivation and autonomy, which play critical roles in learning. Allowing learners to self-select their preferred method of learning can help them to develop their vocabulary knowledge. The findings from this study reveal that learner autonomy plays a significant role in enhancing EFL students’ vocabulary development.
When students learn vocabulary autonomously, they are better able to source the lingua franca’s core pronunciation of a word and its spelling without the influence of the teacher’s cultural background. Given the magnitude of teachers’ workloads, they may lack the time for designing lessons that adequately meet the needs of diverse learners. Therefore, the practical way to ameliorate the problem of inadequate time is to provide them with methods (e.g. using strategies such as inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, and project-based learning) that they can use to more readily foster learner autonomy.
Planning and implementing in-service professional development to support teachers’ pedagogical practices for English language learners (ELLs) first considers building upon…
Planning and implementing in-service professional development to support teachers’ pedagogical practices for English language learners (ELLs) first considers building upon existing teachers’ knowledge and understanding of practice. Teaching English Learners Academic Content (TELAC) is an in-service professional development model that provides an enriched program curriculum to urban teachers seeking to improve teaching practices for their ELLs. Through an integrative approach of learning coupled with learning experiences, practicum activities, observational feedback, and coaching, teachers initiate refinement to practice that reflect culturally sustaining pedagogy. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition/National Professional Development program, Teaching English Learners Academic Content (TELAC) (2012–2017) is a K-12 program in Arizona designed to build a cadre of teachers adept with implementation of instructional strategies that support ELL academic success. All of the participants in this in-service professional development program are K-12 teachers of English language learners, teach any grade level and subject area in urban school districts with a majority of students who are second language learners of English. Teachers’ shared common concern is the need to improve pedagogical practices for ELLs and to personally develop their knowledge and capability to change teaching practices.
Purpose – To highlight and discuss a framework for promoting effective classroom assessment practice that supports the language and literacy development of English Learners…
Purpose – To highlight and discuss a framework for promoting effective classroom assessment practice that supports the language and literacy development of English Learners (ELs).
Design/methodology/approach – Though it includes some practical recommendations, it primarily synthesizes the work found in theoretical books on EL assessment.
Findings – Provides information on the main issues teachers need to consider for engagement in effective assessment practices at the classroom levels, with particular attention to classroom-based assessment. It highlights the need for considering a multiliteracies approach.
Research limitations/implications – It focuses on ELs in the U.S. K-12 system, therefore, it does not encompass all the possible types of ELs. It does not focus on high-stakes testing.
Practical implications – A very useful source of information for both preservice and in-service teachers of ELs.
Originality/value – This chapter offers an overview of essential elements involved in the assessment of special populations of students as is the case of ELs in U.S. public schools.
The changing U.S. demographics, characterized by the rapid growth in immigration (Suarez-Orozco, 2003; U.S. Census Bureau, 2000), and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation are good reasons to prompt all educational stakeholders to seriously examine the practices of educating learners at risk of educational failure. Among at-risk learners, a significant portion is made up of English language learners (ELLs), especially those who are newcomers (i.e., ELLs who are fairly new to the school community in the United States with little or no English proficiency). The last census revealed that immigration accounts for more than “70% of the growth of the American population,” and that “the foreign born-population reached 30 million” (Portes & Hao, 2004, p. 1). Of this group, Hispanic students comprise the fastest growing group, and among Hispanics born outside the United States, 44.2% drop out from the educational system between the ages of 16 and 24 years (National Center for Education Statistics, 2001). For this reason, discussions and debates on the best way to educate ELLs for effective English language acquisition leading to academic achievement in U.S. schools remain at the forefront of educational debates. At the core of this discussion, the question of whether or not to provide bilingual education services to learners for whom English is not their dominant or native language remains as one of the, if not the, greatest long-standing political, ideological, educational battles in the United States.
Despite the plethora of instructional programs and strategies emanating from research, our current efforts have not produced results that could prove to us that our…
Despite the plethora of instructional programs and strategies emanating from research, our current efforts have not produced results that could prove to us that our approach in addressing the needs of English learners (ELs) is working adequately. We believe that aside from the lively and rigorous standard-based teaching that is designed by teachers and others involved in educating students, it is imperative to view the impact of teaching on student learning which would be indicative of how ELs are connected in the process based on what their backgrounds are, who they are with regards to social and cultural identities, and how they learn. We put forth the idea that the lack of progress in the language development and academic achievement of ELs is not solely due to the body of knowledge related to curriculum and instruction but influenced by a variety of factors that pertain to language and race. We think race matters in working with ELs because teachers like any other people may have prejudgmental ideological stances and cultural and racial biases that might influence their perceptions of their students as learners. Several equity-related matters such as identity recognition, sense of belonging, critical consciousness, and hope are viable considerations as well in teaching ELs. However, prejudice against students based on race reinforced by institutionalized language policies related to teaching and testing and microaggressions may turn out to be the culprit in causing the disengagement of English language learners.
A plethora of research highlights the pernicious effects of English language learning demotivation on students' language learning outcomes. Therefore, to prevent students'…
A plethora of research highlights the pernicious effects of English language learning demotivation on students' language learning outcomes. Therefore, to prevent students' demotivation has been a challenging task for the English language teachers. To shed fresh insight into this problem, the prime purpose of the present study was to examine the possible constituents of Pakistani university students' language learning demotivation, and how they interact with the resilience and the two personality dimensions (i.e. conscientiousness and openness to experience).
The present quantitative research study administered a questionnaire consisting of four parts to 215 undergraduate students who were enrolled in the two public universities in Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan province of Pakistan. To analyze the data, both descriptive and inferential statistics were performed with the SPSS (version 24).
The results identified both external and internal salient demotivating factors. The external factors included classroom environment, classroom learning materials, characteristics of classes, whereas lack of language learning interest and experiences of failure were the internal factors. Additionally, the results of simple linear regressions and multiple linear regressions also revealed that resilience and the two personality dimensions influenced the English language learning demotivation.
The prevalence of demotivation in the language classrooms necessitates Pakistani university English language teachers to adopt motivational teaching strategies to elicit, enhance and sustain language learners' motivation. The present study also draws the attention of the university teachers to foster students' resilience, conscientiousness and openness to prevent their language learning demotivation. The findings also implicate the ministry of education of Pakistan to equip educational institutes with language learning facilities to lower the burgeoning issue of students' language learning demotivation.
The present study provides empirical evidence regarding the interaction of resilience and personality with demotivation in the Pakistani context and contributes to the sparse existing knowledge on this issue. Additionally, the present study also establishes the knowledge that despite experiencing demotivation, language learners can regain language learning motivation through their resilience as well as behavioral patterns (i.e. being conscientious and open).
With an increasing emphasis on the reading development of L2 learners of English and a growing body of literature on L2 reading, it is now time to examine what the current…
With an increasing emphasis on the reading development of L2 learners of English and a growing body of literature on L2 reading, it is now time to examine what the current research on L2 reading says about L2 learners’ reading development and to discuss what would be a desirable future for L2 reading studies. Focusing on the L2 reading of upper elementary, middle and high school students in L1 settings, this study aims to carefully, but critically, explore the major research studies published in the past three decades. In particular, it uses sociocultural and critical frameworks that view language as a social phenomenon and literacy as a constellation of socially contextualized practices to explore the issue of L2 reading.
To identify key findings about L2 reading, a systematic literature review of studies examining L2 reading in L1 settings was conducted. A critical examination and analysis of 91 studies on L2 reading for upper elementary students (Grades 4-12) are presented here. Based on the literature review, the major issues addressed in the previous section are revisited, and the requirements of future research on L2 reading are discussed.
Three major changes have taken place in L2 reading studies: from monolingual/L1-based research to multilingual/L2-based research; developing the socially situated model of literacy (literacies); and adopting a sociocultural and critical lens: L2 reading and L2 reading assessment. Based on the critical review of the major research studies published in the past three decades, this paper identifies the research and approach required to advance the field of L2 reading: the continua of L1 and L2 reading, macro–micro analysis of L2 reading context and diversification of L2 reading research.
Based on a systematic literature review, it demonstrates the current trends in L2 reading research, to examine the key findings and implications, and to identify what additional research or paradigms are required to advance the field. The literature review presented in this paper helps language educators, policy-makers and school administers at all levels in both first-and second-language contexts to better understand the rapidly increasing number of L2 English learners in L1 classroom settings.
In this chapter, the authors provide an introspective account of how teachers in mainstream classrooms can use questioning to more effectively differentiate literacy…
In this chapter, the authors provide an introspective account of how teachers in mainstream classrooms can use questioning to more effectively differentiate literacy instruction for English learners across subject areas. The authors offer a rationale for constructively responsive questioning and share tools and strategies for adapting levels of questioning to students’ English proficiency and grade levels with the goal of strengthening instruction and promoting student engagement in learning.