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Meeting the Needs of Mainstreamed English Language Learners in the Elementary Classroom

Harr, Michele Lynn (2008) Meeting the Needs of Mainstreamed English Language Learners in the Elementary Classroom. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study examines the impact of a series of workshops intended to assist elementary interns in meeting the needs of mainstreamed students whose first language is not English. Throughout this dissertation, students whose first language is not English and who are in the process of learning English at school will be referred to as English learners or ELs. (Diaz-Rico, 2008). Selected elementary certification candidates enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh's internship program participated in the workshop series. The workshops were designed to be collaborative following a sociocultural perspective on learning. The workshops focused on two major issues. First, the workshops addressed English learners' socio-affective issues. Secondly, the workshops addressed teaching strategies designed for teachers with mainstreamed English learners. Interns were asked to participate in a series of eight workshops and to incorporate instructional strategies presented in the workshops into their lesson plans. During the workshop series, qualitative data were collected and analyzed. The primary tools of data collection in this study were surveys, a questionnaire, videotaped classroom observations and workshop sessions, interns' lesson reflections and workshop reflections, interns' lesson plans, and writing samples from the English learners. The data were analyzed for evidence of change in the interns' understanding of their English learners and change in interns' lesson planning and instruction. The results of this study show that the interns learned to identify their English learners, learned about their English learners' cultural background and developed a deeper sense of empathy for the socio-affective issues encountered by English learners. The interns also learned to identify content vocabulary relevant to their lessons and use visuals to teach vocabulary; however, the interns did not learn to modify their teaching practices in ways that specifically meet the needs of English learners, such as teaching linguistic structures. Various implications on the field of teacher preparation can be made as a result of this study including the importance of training teachers to think linguistically and training teachers to have a positive view of culturally and linguistically diverse students.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Harr, Michele Lynnmlh32@pitt.eduMLH32
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDonato, Richarddonato@pitt.eduDONATO
Committee MemberTucker, G
Committee MemberKucan, Lindalkucan@pitt.eduLKUCAN
Committee MemberLazar, Merylmklazar@pitt.eduMKLAZAR
Date: 27 June 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 31 March 2008
Approval Date: 27 June 2008
Submission Date: 22 April 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: English learners; SIOP; teacher education
Other ID:, etd-04222008-141802
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:40
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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