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Teacher Self-Efficacy to Teach English Language Learners in Mainstream Classrooms
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English language learners (ELLs) are one of the fastest growing student populations in the United States. Teachers have an important role in the lives of all students, but this is especially true for ELLs since student-teacher relationships can affect student achievement outcomes. Teacher self-efficacy, an area of research that investigates teacher perceptions of their preparedness, can provide important information relevant to teacher professional development needs and student-teacher interactions. Unfortunately, research on teachers’ self-efficacy related to the instruction of ELLs is limited. It is essential for researchers to develop an instrument that can aid school districts and teacher training programs in providing further assistance to teachers of ELLs. The purpose of the current study was to create an instrument to measure self-efficacy of teachers working with ELL students. Secondly, this study focused on identifying differences between two groups of teacher participants (pre-service vs. in-service) and teacher variables that predict self-efficacy levels. During Phases I and II, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis was utilized to create a reliable and valid instrument using two different samples. Phase III of the study compared two teacher groups using an ANOVA, and multiple regressions analyses were used to identify teacher variables that predicted self-efficacy levels. The results from Phases I and II identified a five factor model within the ELL Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale (ETSS). During Phase III, in-service and pre-service teacher self-efficacy were compared and only one factor (Factor II: ELL Teaching Efficacy) presented a statistically significant difference between both groups. In-service teachers reported higher levels of self-efficacy for the total ETSS score and in all factor areas except Factor IV: ELL Language Development Efficacy. Graduate hours and diversity courses were predictors of self-efficacy for in-service teachers. Language and diversity courses were predictors for self-efficacy levels for pre-service teachers. The results from this study add to the limited body of research related to teacher self-efficacy working with ELLs. Furthermore, the ETSS instrument can be used by school districts and teacher training programs to measure their self-efficacy levels and thus to create interventions to facilitate positive student-teacher relationships which ultimately can improve the academic outcomes of ELLs.
Estrella, Ivonne (2016). Teacher Self-Efficacy to Teach English Language Learners in Mainstream Classrooms. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from