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Examining Dual Language, Bilingual, and ESL Teachers’ Knowledge, Professional Development Experiences, and Perceptions About Second Language Programs In Texas
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The rapid increase of the English Language Learner (ELL) student population in the United States and their continued lack of achievement means that research must focus on examining differences between the types of second language programs that are available in the U.S. to assist ELLs to learn a second language. The lack of research about teachers’ knowledge and perceptions along with professional development practices in second language programs indicates the need to improve teacher training. This dissertation includes two research studies that followed a mixed-methods approach. Study 1 was conducted with 225 Bilingual and English as Second Language (ESL) teachers in a large suburban school district. Study 2 included 335 Dual Language and ESL teachers from forty school districts in Texas. Study 1 examined Bilingual and ESL teachers’ knowledge of research on bilingual programs, instructional issues for ELLs, general instructional strategies, and second language development amongst bilingual/ESL teachers who work in different language programs. Also, the study considered the professional development opportunities provided to teachers of ELLs. In addition, it examined teachers’ perceptions about administrators, program implementation, program features, school and community, and adequate training along with the degree of program satisfaction. Study 2 investigated whether the program of instruction, grade level, years of experience, types of route to certification, and feelings of pre-service teacher preparation made a difference on Dual Language and ESL teachers’ knowledge and perceptions of second language programs. It also focused on the type of professional development that teachers receive and program strengths and challenges. Findings from both studies indicated significant differences in regards to teachers’ knowledge and perceptions based on a number of variables examined. There were similarities and differences in regards to professional development experiences, program strengths and challenges. Findings indicated that a large number of teachers of ELLs are not receiving adequate training and that bilingual and Dual Language teachers know more than ESL teachers about research on bilingual programs and second language development. These findings have policy implications because they provide information about the type of knowledge and training that teachers are receiving and most importantly the deficits.
Second Language Education
Teachers' Professional Development
Franco-Fuenmayor, Susana Elena (2013). Examining Dual Language, Bilingual, and ESL Teachers’ Knowledge, Professional Development Experiences, and Perceptions About Second Language Programs In Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from