A mixed-method study of teacher efficacy with English language learners in rural schools
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The United States of America is experiencing a demographic change as dramatic as in the early 20th century when thousands of immigrants entered Ellis Island. Ballantyne, Sanderman, and Levy (2008) reported over the past decade that the number of English Language Learner (ELL) students in this country has increased more than 60%. The purpose of this study was to explore this phenomenon from the perspective of the teachers and their perception of their efficacy in educating ELL students. This study, which included 212 educators from three different school districts in rural Missouri, utilized the Teacher Efficacy of Teaching English Language Learners (TETELL) survey. Participants also had the opportunity to share their experiences with ELL students. The study found that teachers expressed the lowest efficacy in the area of instruction, expressing that they had "Some" feelings of efficacy in the areas of academic expectations, interclassroom dynamics, and social cohesion. In the area of teachers' experiences with ELL students, a theme emerged that teachers expressed frustration with the lack of time, resources, and preparation to instruct these ELL students.