Examining the Learning Experiences of Secondary Non-English Speaking Background Students in the Mainstream English Classroom: Informing Teaching Practice for Improved Educational Outcomes

By Sarah Louise Long.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presents findings from a small-scale qualitative study examining the learning experiences of non-English speaking background (NESB) students in the mainstream English classroom. Data collected from in-class observations, survey questionnaires and semi-structured teacher interviews was used to examine the phenomenon that many NESB students appear to struggle in transitioning from the language classroom to the mainstream English classroom. Research objectives were to identify and examine academic difficulties faced by these students and inform teaching practice and pedagogy at a secondary school in Queensland. The results highlight the fact that some NESB students face challenges in the ‘mainstream’ classroom in terms of dealing with the complexity of the current English syllabus. Findings revealed delivery of content, language barriers and performance anxiety were also issues that affected NESB students in the mainstream English classroom.

Keywords: Non-English Speaking Background, ESL, Mainstreaming, NESB, Learning Experiences

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp.263-270. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 585.512KB).

Sarah Louise Long

Co-ordinator of English Communication, Senior English, All Saints Anglican School and Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia

Sarah is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Griffith University in Australia and coordinating the English Communication program at All Saints Anglican School in Queensland. She has specifically worked with secondary school aged students for some years and has had significant exposure to the principles and practice involved with delivering quality literacy programs to adolescents. She has a keen interest in English education, best practice and teaching pedagogies, particularly relating to non-English speaking background students and ‘reluctant learners’ in the subject of English.


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