Perceived Challenges in Working With English Learners: Meeting the Professional Development Needs of Teacher Candidates and Classroom Teachers

By Anita Hernandez, Roberta Herter and Stanley Wanat.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

This study addresses the challenges teachers of second language learners (learning English) see as most important when instructing second language learners. The purpose of the study was to examine the experiences and challenges that teacher education students had relating to instructing English learners. The research question addressed was, ‘What are your biggest challenges when working with second language learners?’ The 29 participants were involved in a professional development project over a two-year period and were interviewed in five focus groups over a three-week period. The interview script served to standardize the data collection across all study participants. The findings reflect a spectrum of challenges, rather than a single kind of challenge. Four major findings emerged.
Our examination of the challenges teachers perceive when working with English learners (second language learners) has implications for teacher education programs, programs for second language learners, and teacher professional development for those who are new to working second language learners.

Keywords: Second Language Learners, Perceived Challenges, Teachers, Research Study

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp.107-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 527.433KB).

Dr. Anita Hernandez

Associate Professor, College of Education, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

Associate Professor in the Division of Teacher Education in the College of Education. Research Interests include: writing development of second language learners, teacher research, and professional development.

Dr. Roberta Herter

Professor, Graduate Studies in Education and Teacher Education, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

Dr. Stanley Wanat

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA


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