Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Chad Becker, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Teresa Dillard, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Joshua Johnson, Ed.D.

Keywords

teacher preparation, professional development, ESL, ELL, Hispanic, Latino, Spanish, English learners, teacher attitudes, critical race theory, LatCrit

Abstract

The reality of the changing face of America’s public schools is that many teachers are in districts with high numbers of native Spanish speakers in their classrooms, yet very few of those teachers speak or understand Spanish. In lieu of the challenge to attract, hire, or retain a suitable number of Spanish-speaking teachers, professional development training of existing faculty in basic Spanish speaking skills could be considered a viable option when schools desire to create a culturally sensitive community; however, Spanish language skills training for teachers and administrators in districts with high numbers of Latinx students is not as prevalent as it seemingly should be. The research author was motivated by the conceptual framework of Latino critical race theory (LatCrit) in that English language supremacy and marginalization of Spanish speakers are conscious and unconscious practices inherent in American classrooms. This quasi-experimental research study looked at the attitudes, classroom practices, and feelings of preparedness of teachers towards English language learners (ELLs) in a public high school where 44% of the students named Spanish as their first language, with 77% of the ELL students speaking Spanish. A pre-service questionnaire gauging the existing attitudes and practices of 34 non-Hispanic, non-Spanish-speaking teachers unveiled negative feelings towards ELLs and teachers’ responsibilities in the mainstream classroom with English language learners. The first survey was followed by two professional development (PD) sessions over a two-month period in beginning Spanish language skills for 13 non-Hispanic, mainstream classroom teachers who volunteered for the PD. A post-service questionnaire quantified measurable change, even though statistical significance was not evident, in those teachers’ attitudes, classroom practices, and feelings of preparedness after the completion of the training.

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Education Commons

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