Attitudes of Pre-service Teachers toward English Language Learners

| December 26, 2009
Attitudes of Pre-service Teachers toward English Language Learners

Keywords: English Language Learner (ELL), Pre-service Teachers, Attitudes, ESL

Dr.Yu-Chih Lo
Assistant Professor
Yuanpei University
No.306, Yuanpei Street, Hsinchu City 30015, Taiwan

Dr. Jaya Sarma Goswami
Assistant Professor
Texas A&M University – Kingsville
MSC 152, 700 University Blvd, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA

Keiko Inoue
Doctoral Candidate,
Antioch University Santa Barbara
801, Garden Street, Ste. 101, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA

Together with global demand for English proficiency, the United States, with its rapidly growing linguistically and culturally diverse (LCD) student population, must prepare teachers to meet the unique needs of these students. This study investigated pre-service teachers’ attitude towards English Language Learners (ELL). Research has suggested that teachers with positive attitudes, adequate preparation, and clear perceptions of effective instruction for LCD students are more likely to engage in appropriate instruction and facilitate student’s learning.

This study investigated whether any relationship exists between Bilingual Generalist major and Generalist Early Childhood major pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward ELL and ELL related courses taken in the teacher preparation program. Further, the study examined whether a difference toward their training and effective instruction for ELL. A theory-based survey was administered to 129 subjects for quantitative data collection; subsequently, semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with 12 participants. The quantitative data was analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics; the qualitative data was analyzed with theory-based themes.

The study found participants had positive attitudes toward use of ELL’s native language, importance of content knowledge, and parentally involvement, although approximately half of them thought it unfair to expect a regular classroom teacher to teach ELL. Although a statistically significant difference between the difference major pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward ELL was not found, participants’ expressed concerns about their own linguistic skills in ELL students’ first language. Implications of the results for teacher preparation programs are discussed.

[private] See page: 57 – 65

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 11 Issue 5