Year of Publication

2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Administration and Supervision

First Advisor

Dr. Charles Hausman

Abstract

Over the past twenty years, classrooms throughout the United States have becomes more ethnically and linguistically diverse with the influx of immigrant residents. The impact of this demographic change has directly affected the makeup of the mainstream classroom. One response to this rapid growth in diversity demographics has been the requirement of additional teacher preparation for instruction of English language learners.

The study focuses on the impact of English as a Second Language endorsement (ESL) on the English language acquisition and academic achievement of elementary English language learners (ELL) over a two year period in a large mountain west urbansuburban school district. The rationale for the study was to examine the impact of ESL endorsement as required for continued service in this school district. Data were collected from 1,838 English language learners and their 276 mainstream elementary classroom teachers in grades two through six over a two-year period. A one-way Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was conducted to compare the mean change in language levels during a two year period as measured on the IDEA Proficiency Test (IPT), including the oral, reading and writing scores, between ELL students taught by mainstream classroom teachers with ESL endorsement and those taught by teachers without ESL endorsement. A one-way Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was also used to compare elementary ELL students’, taught by teachers with and without ESL endorsement, mean Language Arts and mathematics Criterion Referenced Tests score gains using the state’s Neutral Value Table point assignment. Covariates included student gender, socio-economic status, minority status, language level, and teacher’s years of experience.

The results of this analysis indicate that teacher endorsement did not account for a significant amount of variance in the dependent measure of change in English language acquisition nor the dependent measure of change in academic achievement in Language Arts and mathematics. The findings raise further questions about the quality of professional development of mainstream teachers of English language learners and the accountability standards required for elementary English language learners. The study concludes with implications and recommendations for policies and practices applicable to teacher preparation for English as a Second Language and accountability levels for English language learners.

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