Thursday, May 26, 2011

How prepared were you to deal with ELLs in your classroom?

One topic that I have been interested in since I started teaching is how well teacher education programs prepare teachers to meet the needs of English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classrooms. It is amazing to me as an ESOL teacher (and I really hope I don't offend anyone here) how many teachers simply put ESL kids on the computer or simply throw up their hands when talking to me and say "I just don't know what to do!".

Personally, I don't really think this is the entirely the teacher's fault. It seems, from the preliminary results to my survey so far (but I really need more responses!!) that many teacher education programs, even newer ones, breeze over ESL methods or require no classes on meeting the needs of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. This is a disservice to the teacher and the student.

However, many districts do offer professional development that helps teachers, but does not entirely fill the gap in their knowledge and abilities to meet the needs of their students. Professional development does assist the teachers in identifying and and using strategies to meet some of the needs of the students; though we know that a one or even four day workshop cannot take the place of an semester-long college-level course.

All of that I have said to get around to the point of....I want your input. I want to know how your teacher education program prepared you. All of the responses are completely anonymous (you don't even have to identify the college or university you received your degree from) and will be used for educational research purposes only.

Please take both parts of the survey to ensure the fidelity of the results I will receive. I am really interested in this information, so feel free to  pass the survey links on to other teachers you know. Each part of the survey takes about 1 minutes to help education  (and our students) by taking 2 minutes out of your day! Thanks in advance.

Public School Teacher Exposure to ELL Pedagogy Survey Part I
Public School Teacher Exposure to ELL Pedagogy Survey Part II


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