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Limited Proficiency Among English Language Learners
Problem Statement
The purpose of the study is to explore how to implement effective teaching strategies
within the classroom to help English Language Learners (ELL). This study explores different
effective strategies and the challenge that teachers face with growing number of English
Language Learners students within the classrooms. ELL students need not only to become
proficient in the English language, but also need to meet the same requires in the same academic
standards as a native English speakers. Trying to close the achievement gap between ELL
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students and non ELL students has became more of a struggle with the federal No Child Left
Behind Act of 2001 that requires high expectations for all students while holding public schools
at a strong accountability for student achievement (Good, Masewicz, & Vogel, 2014). It is now
required by the No Child Left behind Act order that school districts are to educate ELL students
along with their non ELL peers to the same extent in an English speaking classroom (Gottfried,
2014).
According to Moore (2014), the number of ELL students increased in the years that past
in the United States of America. In a report submitted in 2016 by Koppelman and Goodhart, the
number of ELL students in the USA in the year 2004-05 was 9.1% an estimate of 4.3 million
students as compared to 2013-14 which was 9.3% an approximate value of 4.5 million students
while in 2014-15 the number was 4.6 million at 9.4%. Columbia had a bigger number of at
10.0% compared to other seven states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New
Mexico, and Texas). The ELL students in public school in the US rose between 2004-2005 and
2014-2015 in all states but 15 with the greatest being in California at 22.4% while the least
decrease was in West Virginia at 1.0%. According to the data released by Department of
Education the number of ELL students living on disability has also increased significantly with
665,00 students being identified in 2014-2015 as compared to 330,000 in 2004-2005.
Gunning (2013) said that the students face challenges that ought to get addressed to make
their learning successful. He argued that it is almost impossible to avoid the problems, but it’s
easy preparing the students and creating an attractive environment that facilitates easy learning.
According to Cooper, Robinson, Slansky, and Kiger in (2014), most of the students, for instance,
prefer speaking in their foreign languages thus making it difficult to improve their English
learning process.
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Also, most of the students control the entire lesson where they express their experiences
and varied understanding of problems they face (Schnorr, Freeman-Green, & Test, 2015).
Relatively, Hill and Miller (2013) argue that the students get too dependent to conduct any task
by themselves. The ELL process gets difficult to accomplish for such issues that must get
addresses. This study aims at exploring the strategies that if well implemented by their teachers
that would help create a better learning environment for ELL students that are struggling within
the classroom and are performing below grade level.
Purpose
The purpose of the study is to explore how to implement effective teaching
strategies within the classroom to help English Language Learners. This study explores different
effective strategies and the challenges that teachers face with the growing number of English
Language Learners students within the classrooms. Addressing the barriers of attaining English
proficiency would benefit ELLs by improving their English literacy and academic performance.
The importance of English proficiency is critical in an increasingly interconnected and
globalized world. Globally, English is the fourth most spoken language in numbers of speakers.
Addressing English proficiency barriers ascertains that ELLs gain the necessary knowledge on
how to use the language both in written and spoken form. With all the teaching instructions in
English, they will improve their academic performance. Success in academics is crucial for all
students for it is the educational success that determines one future. Any students who fail in
their academics fail to advance in their professional lives. Therefore, it is teachers? roles to
ensure collaboration with all students so that they succeed irrespective of their origin.
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Significance
I am choosing this study because the project site has had an increase population of
English Language Learners growing and teachers not knowing how to reach them successful. For
example, class sizes continue to grow, and, with the high population of ELL students, teachers
have a hard time meeting their needs. Having effective strategies in place will help teachers who
are struggling to meet the needs of this growing population. Many districts and schools have not
provided teachers with the proper training when teaching ELL students (Schnorr et al., 2015).
With the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), ELL students are now held to the same
standardized testing standards as everyone else. Now that ELL students are their own designated
subgroups it is vital that schools help teachers become better prepared to in teaching them.
Without the prompt training, teachers do not know how to promote English Language
achievement while teaching the academic standards that ELL students need to become successful
within the classroom. By providing ELL students with effective strategies within the classroom it
will help them become more successful within the classroom.
Background Literature
Selected articles relating to doctoral education and the process of learning to be a
researcher are described here:
1.
Breen (2014), provided information on how the English language forms the
backbone of various concepts taught in learning instructions, as well as testing
students? knowledge in different subject matters. Therefore, examinations a student
sits for are usually phrased in the English language apart from language exams.
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Exploring limited proficiency among English language learners demands a detailed
account of the research problem and exploration of evidence from various literature
materials.
2. Moore (2014) provided information on the number of English Language Learners
(ELL) students increased in the years that past in the United States of America.
3. Koppelman and Goodhart (2016) reported the number of ELL students in the USA in
the year 2004-05 was 9.1% an estimate of 4.3 million students as compared to 201314 which was 9.3% an approximate value of 4.5 million students while in 2014-15 the
number was 4.6 million at 9.4%. Columbia had a bigger number of at 10.0%
compared to other seven states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New
Mexico, and Texas). The ELL students in public school in the US rose between
2004-2005 and 2014-2015 in all states but 15 with the greatest being in Maryland at
4.4% while the least decrease was in Arizona at 13.8%. According to the data
released by Department of Education the number of ELL students living on disability
has also increased significantly with 665,00 students being identified in 2014-2015 as
compared to 330,000 in 2004-2005.
4. De Jong, Harper, & Coady (2013) give information explaining that due to the large
increase of enrollment of ELL students and with a shortage of ELL teachers due to
tight budget constraints in most rural school districts it makes it challenging to
support ELL students within the classroom.
5. Gunning (2013) provides information on schools experiencing a rapid influx and
discusses that the students face challenges that ought to get addressed to make their
learning successful. He argued that it?s almost impossible to avoid the problems, but
6
it?s easy preparing the students and creating an attractive environment that facilitates
easy learning.
6. Cooper, Robinson, Slansky, and Kiger (2014) provided information on that most of
the students, for instance, prefer speaking in their foreign languages therefore making
it difficult to improve their English learning process.
Framework
Conceptual frameworks in research describes to the concepts, assumptions, beliefs,
expectations, theories, and beliefs that helps supports and informs the research that one is
conducting (Robson, 2011). Conversely, the theoretical framework is the structure that helps
support the theory of a research study. When looking at these two types of frameworks it is
important to understand the different between them. Both kinds of theoretical or conceptual
frameworks provide guidance for the study, help the reader see how the study contributes to the
topic, and help align the study (Burkholder, Cox, & Crawford, 2016). The problem of my
study is the different challenges that teachers face with the growing population of ELL students
in the classroom.
. This study uses qualitative work and uses complex thinking about the various aspects of
research and the specifics of designing a study. A constructivist theory is where this study is
grounded. Burkholder (2016) argues that Constructivism is a perspective grounded in the notion
that “We cannot experience reality directly; instead, we experience phenomena that are then
interpreted by our senses” (p. 22). Constructivism is another way to help students think and
learn. Constructivism allows the teacher to see what the students know, which allows the
teachers to be able to build onto this knowledge so then they are able to apply it (Mvududu &
Thiel-Burgess, 2012). The theory of constructivism can benefit ELL students in an inclusive
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classroom (Mvududu & Thiel-Burgess, 2012). The theoretical framework help supports the data
that is conducted within the study. The conceptual framework helps support the research
questions. This case study will explore the approach of the effective strategies supported by this
framework.
Research Question(s)
Research questions define exactly it is that one is trying to find out about the topic as well
guide the steps that will lead to the research (Universities Libraries, 2015). The guided research
questions help seek a better understanding of the teacher and student perceptions regarding the
challenges that ELL students face in the classroom. The following research questions will further
guide this study:
RQ1: How prepared are teachers to reinforce and use practical and effective strategies to
support academic achievement for elementary ELL students?
RQ2: What effective strategies are helpful with teaching learning strategies to English
Language Learners?
Research Methodology and Design
Methodology is a very specific process a researcher uses to conduct research. Certain
steps and terms are important to all capstones. It is important to ensure that the methodology is
aligned with the problem statement, purpose, and especially the research questions (Butin, 2011).
The approach that will be used to conduct this study will be qualitative data by collecting data
from interviews and classroom observations. Using the qualitative method will give me a greater
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insight on the perspective of the participants within my study. Data will also be collected through
observations done by the observer. These data will be analyzed to help determine the different
challenges that ELL students might face. When conducting a descriptive observation, the
researcher will go into several different classrooms with ELL students and general education
students and simply observe the students and write down what they observe. The ELL teachers
and the general education teachers will answer questions for the interviews as well as ELL
students. The data from these interviews will be used to explore any challenges that teachers might have within the classroom as well what is working well within the classroom to help ELL
students in the classroom. Interviews, , and descriptive observations will be used to answer the
first research question (RQ1). I will use open ended interview questions to help identify any
patterns within the participants? responses. Interviews with classroom teachers and
administration will be used to answer research question two (RQ2).
References
Breen, M. (2014). Learner Contributions to Language Learning: New directions in Research.
New York, NY: Routledge.
Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016). The Scholar-Practitioner’s Guide to
Research Design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.
Butin, D. W. (2010). The Education Dissertation: A Guide for Practitioner Scholars. Thousand
Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Chung, S. (2012). Research-Based Vocabulary Instruction for English Language Learners.
Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal, 12(2), 105-120.
Cooper, J. D., Robinson, M. D., Slansky, J. A., & Kiger, N. D. (2014). Literacy: Helping
Students Construct Meaning. (9th ed). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
9
De Jong, Ester J., Harper, Candace A, Coady, Maria R. (2013) Theory into Practice. 52 (2). 8997. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2013.770326.
Fairbaim, S., & Jones-Vo, S. (2010). Differentiating Instruction and Assessment for English
Language Learners: A guide for K/12 Teachers. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon Publishing.
Gibson, C. (2016). Bridging English Language Learner Achievement Gaps Through Effective
Vocabulary Development Strategies. English Language Teaching, 9(9), 134-138.
Good, M. E., Masewicz, S., & Vogel, L. l. (2014). Latino English Language Learners: Bridging
Achievement and Cultural Gaps Between Schools and Families. Journal Of Latinos &
Education, 9(4), 321-339. doi:10.1080/15348431.2010.491048
Gottfried, M. A. (2014). The Positive Peer Effects of Classroom Diversity: Exploring the
Relationship Between English Language Learner Classmates and Socioemotional Skills
in Early Elementary School. Elementary School Journal, 115(1), 22-48.
Herrell, A. L., & Jordan, M. L. (2015). 50 Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners
(5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Higher Education.
Hung, H. T. (2015). Flipping the Classroom for English Language Learners to Foster Active
Learning . Computer Assisted Language Learner, 28 (1), 81-96. https://doi.org/doi:10.
Mateer, D., Purdom. R., Ghent, L., & Porter, T. . (2012). Using Media to Enhance Leaching and
Learning. Retrieved from https://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/media/index.html.
Moore, K. D. (2014). Effective Instructional Strategies: From Theory to Practice. Los Angles:
Sage Publications.
Mvududu1, L.N. & Thiel-Burgess, J. (2012). Constructivism in Practice: The Case for English
Language Learners. International Journal of Education, 4 (3), 1-14.
doi:10.5296/ije.v4i3.2223
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Rivera, C. (2014). State Assessments Policy and Practice for English Language Learners: A
National Perspective. New York, NY: Routledge.
Robson (2011) Conceptual Framework What Do You Think Is Going On? Thousand Oaks,
CA: Sage Publications.
Tomlinson, C. A., & Imbeau, M. B. (2010). Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom.
Alexander, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Wright, W. E. (2015). Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners: Research Theory,
Policy, and Practice. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon Incorporated.

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