Date

11-2017

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Andrea Lee

Keywords

English, English Language Learner, Inclusion, math, subject area, teacher attitudes

Disciplines

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Teacher Education and Professional Development

Abstract

Within the last 10 years, the United States experienced an influx of non-English speaking students, which challenged teachers, administrators, and other educational stakeholders on how to successfully accommodate these English Language Learners (ELL). This causal-comparative study examined the attitudes and perceptions of secondary English and math teachers in relation to ELL inclusion. Specifically, the study presented the main question of whether there is a difference between English and math teachers’ attitudes and perceptions toward the inclusion of ELLs. Teacher attitudes have been found to play a role in determining student academic achievement; therefore, assessing teacher attitudes toward ELLs could be a factor in determining how best to educate ELLs. The convenience sample of 122 teachers was comprised of secondary English and math teachers in a northeast Alabama school district. A 40-question survey determined teacher attitudes toward ELL inclusion and was adapted from a previous study that focused on mainstream teacher attitudes. The survey was administered to and collected from participants electronically. The survey was scored utilizing a four-point Likert scale collecting an average score for each item. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS® software, in which a t-test analyzed and determined the difference of means between teacher attitudes. The research concluded that the vast majority of English and math teachers had positive attitudes regarding ELL inclusion; however, English teachers were found to have slightly negative attitudes regarding inclusion and perceptions of language and language learning. Recommendations for future research include implementation of teacher education programs to focus coursework on ELL students and ELL inclusion, as well as more professional development opportunities regarding ELL students.