Preparing to teach English language learners : exploring the change in mainstream teachers' perceptions of ELL students in two online certification courses
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The purpose of this study is to understand the role of two online certification courses in changing mainstream teachers' perceptions of ELL students. The discussion board posts, lesson plans and other coursework of the twelve participants were collected for two academic semesters and the participants were interviewed after they graduated from the certification program. In this study, using socio-constructivist theory and situated learning theory as my main theoretical frameworks, I examined the following four areas: 1) changes in mainstream teachers' perceptions of ELL students, 2) changes in mainstream teachers' teaching practices of ELL students, 3) challenges of mainstream teachers in teaching to ELLs, and 4) role of online discussion in mainstream teachers' perception and teaching method changes. By using case study and content analysis methods, multiple sources of data were analyzed. The findings revealed that mainstream teachers changed their perception of ELLs and teaching methods, and discussion board posts had a great role in bringing about these changes. Mainstream teachers used discussion board as a platform to share their challenges, understandings and questions related to ELL education. This study also makes some pedagogical recommendations on online ELL teacher education course design and teaching.
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